WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A months-long effort to crack down on drug trafficking in the Woonsocket area has resulted in 20 arrests.
According to police, the Woonsocket Fentanyl Initiative was launched by the vice unit back in May to focus their efforts on fentanyl-related incidents after finding that overdoses not just continued during the pandemic, but spiked.
“Anything that we can do to take these narcotics off the street will hopefully lessen the amount of users we have, as far as overdoses and so forth,” Chief Thomas Oates III said Tuesday. “Any impact we can have as far as taking these dealers off the streets and taking their products off the streets we hope will help.”
Detectives seized approximately two pounds of fentanyl, fentanyl pills, suboxone, methamphetamines, cocaine, and a variety of other prescriptions and pills, according to police, along with two guns, more than $130,000 cash, and four vehicles used to deliver drugs.
“This opioid crisis that we are in hasn’t gone away during COVID-19. If anything, it’s gotten worse,” Attorney General Peter Neronha said. “I believe there are two things to help fight that: one is to find help for those that need it, but we also have to do a good job on law enforcement to try to interdict those organizations that deliver very serious narcotics in the city of Woonsocket.”
Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt said the city has partnered with the Community Care Alliance to offer help to people suffering from drug addiction.
The following Woonsocket residents were charged:
- Luis Medina, 49; possession with intent to deliver fentanyl/cocaine
- Javier Celado, 31; possession with intent to deliver fentanyl, conspiracy, and possession of a firearm
- William Balcom, 57; possession of fentanyl
- Sean Breton, 28; possession suboxone strips/cocaine with intent to deliver
- Tori Rochon, 25; possession of suboxone and meth
- Morino Gonzalez, 35; delivery of fentanyl
- Thomas Iaciofano, 40; possession with intent to deliver naloxone, oxycodone, and cocaine
- Scott Jones, 29; three counts of possession with intent to deliver fentanyl and cocaine, and conspiracy
- Nethnoy Dethsouvanh, 38; delivery of fentanyl
- Donald Wheeler, 61; eight counts of delivery of fentanyl and conspiracy
- Rafael Rodriguez, 28; two counts of delivery of fentanyl
- Anibal G. Berrios Fuentes, 31; two counts of delivery of fentanyl
- Alexis Sierra, 18; possession with intent to deliver fentanyl and possession of a firearm
- Kyle Jones, 27; two counts of delivery of fentanyl, possession with intent to deliver fentanyl/cocaine, and conspiracy
- A 16-year-old juvenile was charged with possession of fentanyl and cocaine
Police also charged three people from Providence:
- Jonathan Sanchez, 35; eight counts of delivery of fentanyl, possession with intent to deliver fentanyl and conspiracy
- Luis Sanchez, 61; possession with intent fentanyl and conspiracy
- Jefferson X. Cruz Santana, 28; three counts of delivery of fentanyl
Marissa Mootoo, 30, of Southborough, Mass., was also charged with delivery fentanyl/cocaine.