PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Four of the five men arrested in connection with a large-scale cocaine trafficking operation are now charged with abducting a United States Postal Service worker at gunpoint back in June.
A federal indictment unsealed Thursday charges Alijah Parsons, 29, Irving Medina, 31, and Andres Garay, 35, all of Providence, and Edgar Medina, 36, of Johnston, with aiding and abetting a kidnapping, the office of acting U.S. Attorney Richard Myrus announced.
All four of those men plus Ronald Hall, 39, of Providence, also face charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, according to Myrus’ office.
Additionally, Irving Medina was charged with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.
Prosecutors and police allege the group was shipping packages of cocaine from Puerto Rico to various addresses in Rhode Island.
Court documents show that on the afternoon of June 1, a mail carrier working in Pawtucket was forced into a vehicle by masked suspects in the area of Division Street. They were allegedly searching for cocaine they claimed was missing from a delivered package.
The suspects then drove the mail carrier to his home and interrogated him about the missing drugs, but when they realized he didn’t know anything about the cocaine and didn’t have his keys to get inside, they brought him back to his postal truck unharmed, according to the criminal complaint filed back in June.
During the investigation, postal inspectors discovered fictitious names and addresses in Puerto Rico had been used to ship packages to locations in Pawtucket, Providence, Cranston and Johnson, court documents show. A court-authorized search of three packages flagged by a Rhode Island State Police K-9 showed they contained more than three kilograms of cocaine in total.
Investigators arranged for controlled deliveries of the packages on June 8, with their destinations under surveillance. As the parcels were delivered, Garay, Hall, and Edgar Medina were arrested.
Court documents say subsequent searches of their homes and vehicles led to the seizure of items including a winter cap and masks fitting the description of those worn by the kidnapping suspects, along with batons, stun guns and a set of brass knuckles.