NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A North Providence man with a lengthy criminal history and several open court cases is now in federal custody as a result of an unrelated joint operation by the FBI and Providence police, the office of U.S. Attorney Zachary Cunha announced Thursday.
Keurys Pena, 33, is accused of selling a person fentanyl pills and powder on at least seven occasions between June and October 2022, according to court documents. In total, it’s alleged he sold the individual roughly 900 grams of the painkiller worth nearly $15,000.
Additionally, court documents say Pena sold the same person a 9mm handgun in September.
Prosecutors said Pena was out on bail awaiting trial for federal drug-trafficking charges. He’s also on probation in four separate state court cases.
Pena’s arrest Tuesday and the court-authorized search of his North Providence home and alleged” drug stash house” in Pawtucket stemmed from an FBI Safe Street Task Force and Providence Police Narcotics Unit Project Safe Neighborhoods investigation. The North Providence and Pawtucket police departments also assisted with the operation.
In Pawtucket, law enforcement seized more than 500 grams of fentanyl in both pill and powder form, plus packaging materials and parts to a pill press used to make counterfeit narcotics containing fentanyl. Police also found an “unsecured” firearm and ammunition, according to prosecutors.
Pena now faces federal charges of distribution of 40 grams or more of fentanyl and unlawful possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.
In 2014, 12 News was in court as Pena faced a prison escape charge. R.I. State Police said Pena was serving time at the ACI for breaking and entering when he walked away from a work detail. He was arrested two days later.
Court records show Pena has also been convicted of assault, forgery, and firearm charges.