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Four charged in drug trafficking, money laundering conspiracy

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Four individuals have been charged in U.S. District Court in Providence for their roles in an alleged drug trafficking and money laundering conspiracy that trafficked at least 50 kilograms of cocaine from Puerto Rico to Rhode Island through the U.S. Postal Service, and in return sent tens of thousands of dollars in drug trafficking proceeds to individuals in Puerto Rico, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman; Joseph W. Cronin, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division; Rhode Island State Police Superintendent Colonel James M. Manni; and Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New England Field Division Brian D. Boyle.

According to court documents, the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) has identified approximately 51 Priority Mail parcels allegedly sent by members of a Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) to various address in Rhode Island. The parcels list sender names that are not associated with the listed return addresses in Puerto Rico, and similarly, list recipients who are not associated with the Rhode Island address to which the parcel is sent. USPIS agents determined that many of the shipments were tracked via USPS tracking information, and that several individuals monitored and retrieved the deliveries. The parcels were turned over to the alleged leaders of the DTO in Rhode Island.

On Monday, three of the alleged leaders of the DTO, Arcadio Torres, 38, of North Providence, Nelson Carvalho, 45, of Cranston, and George Mojica, 40, of Central Falls, were ordered detained by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond on criminal complaints charging them with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance; distribution of and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance; unlawful use of a communication facility (U.S. Mail) to facilitate the distribution of a controlled substance; and conspiracy to engage on money laundering and money laundering.

An arrest warrant has been issued for a fourth defendant.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise M. Barton.

The matter was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, Rhode Island State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, and the Rhode Island Drug Enforcement Administration Drug Task Force.

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