Providence man sentenced to 60 months in prison on drug trafficking and firearm charges
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Providence man arrested by Newport Police members of the DEA Drug Task Force in August 2018 as he arrived at a pre-determined location in Newport to deliver heroin he arranged to sell to an undercover Newport Police Department detective was sentenced today to 60 months in federal prison for trafficking heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and crack cocaine, and for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Franklin Valenzuela, 24, was arrested on Aug. 31, 2018, as he arrived to deliver drugs for the third time in four days to the undercover Newport Police detective. The two previous deliveries tested positive for a mixture of heroin and fentanyl.
During the course of the investigation it was learned that Cranston Police Department detectives were also investigating Valenzuela’s drug trafficking activities.
At the time of his arrest, as he exited his vehicle, several small bags of heroin fell from Valenzuela’s lap. He was also found to be in possession of $1,393 in cash. According to court documents, Valenzuela consented to a search of his Providence residence from which law enforcement seized approximately 53 grams of a mixture of heroin and fentanyl, 90 grams of fentanyl, 70 grams of cocaine, 16 grams of crack cocaine, 412 grams of marijuana, a partly disassembled firearm, and $7,807 in cash.
An additional 22 grams of crack cocaine and 6 grams of fentanyl were found inside a secret compartment in Valenzuela’s vehicle.
On June 25, 2019, Valenzuela pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl; distribution of cocaine and fentanyl; and felon in possession of a firearm.
At sentencing today, U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith sentenced Valenzuela to 60 months in federal prison to be followed by 4 years supervised release.
Valenzuela’s sentence is announced by DEA New England Field Division Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle, United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Newport Police Chief Gary T. Silva and Cranston Police Chief Colonel Michael J. Winquist.
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