Three indicted on drug trafficking charges as authorities investigate alleged kidnapping of postal worker
As U.S. Postal Inspection Service agents, with the assistance of Rhode Island State Police and Pawtucket Police, continue to investigate the alleged kidnapping of a postal carrier on June 1, 2021, a federal grand jury in Providence today returned a two-count indictment in a related investigation charging three men with participating in a conspiracy to possess and distribute significant quantities of cocaine shipped through the U.S. Postal Service, announced Acting United States Attorney Richard B. Myrus.
It is alleged that on June 1, 2021, a Postal Service employee was abducted in Pawtucket and driven by two masked men to his home. At least one of the abductors claimed to be seeking the contents of an empty package they said the postal carrier delivered to a residence in Pawtucket on May 24, 2021. After the abductors learned the postal employee did not have a key with him to enter his locked home, he was returned unharmed to an area near where his postal truck was parked.
According to court documents, based on information provided by the Postal Service employee, witness statements, surveillance videos, and various databases, investigators identified the vehicle allegedly used in the kidnapping, and its owner, Edgar Medina, 37, of Johnston.
During the investigation into the alleged kidnapping, Postal Inspection Service agents learned of several packages that had previously been shipped from fictitious addresses in Puerto Rico to actual addresses in Pawtucket, Cranston, Johnston, and Providence, some of which are associated with Medina.
As the investigation continued, Postal Service Inspectors intercepted three additional packages that a Rhode Island State Police K-9 alerted for the presence of narcotics. Court-authorized searches of the packages resulted in the discovery of a total of more than three kilograms of cocaine. Postal Inspectors arranged for controlled deliveries of the packages on June 8, while the recipient addresses were under surveillance by U.S. Postal Service Inspectors, members of the Rhode Island State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, and the Rhode Island State Police Violent Fugitive Task Force. As the packages were delivered, Medina, Andres Garay, 34, of Providence, and Ronald Hall, 38, of Providence, were arrested. Court-authorized searches of vehicles and residences associated with the defendants resulted in the seizure of, among other things, masks and a winter cap fitting the description of items worn by the individuals involved in the kidnapping, as well as batons, a set of brass knuckles, and a Taser.
A grand jury today returned an indictment charging Medina, Andres, and Garay with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. They have been detained in federal custody since their arrest.