PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A United States Postal Service worker says he was abducted earlier this month, and court documents indicate it may have been related to drug trafficking.
According to the criminal complaint, the postal carrier reported being forced into a car at gunpoint on the afternoon of June 1 outside an apartment complex on Division Street in Pawtucket.
The masked suspects claimed that a package delivered by the carrier was missing its contents and they drove to the carrier’s home to search it, the complaint says. Upon learning the carrier didn’t have his keys, they returned him to the abduction point.
The victim described the suspect vehicle as a gray or silver 4-door sedan with cracked leather seats, which police were able to identify as a Chrysler 300 using surveillance video from the area. The postal carrier later confirmed that was the vehicle he was taken away in.
In the complaint, U.S. Postal Inspector Richard Atwood explains how in recent weeks, a number of packages were shipped from Puerto Rico to locations in Pawtucket, Providence, Cranston and Johnson, all of which were connected in some way to Edgar Antonio Medina. He also noted how the handwriting on all the parcels matched and they were tracked by the same person or device, which is indicative of someone sending narcotics through the mail.
During the investigation, a K-9 inspected three of those parcels and detected the odor of narcotics. Inside, police found 3.25 kilograms of a white powdery substance wrapped in plastic, which tested positive for cocaine, the complaint says.
While surveilling the delivery locations this week, police were able to identify two additional suspects: Andres Garay and Ronald Hall.
All three men were arrested on a charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.
At this time, no charges have been filed against the three men or any other suspects in connection with the abduction. However, during a virtual court hearing Wednesday afternoon, prosecutors said there’s growing evidence that Medina and Garay were involved.
In court, investigators called the men “extremely dangerous” and said they pose a threat to the community. All three were ordered held.
Police later searched the Chrysler 300 and two other vehicles associated with the suspects and found black surgical masks in all three, which matched the description of the masks worn by the suspects during the abduction. They also found a black winter hat, which the victim said was worn by one of the suspects, along with extendible batons, pepper spray and a stun gun.
Inside Medina’s home, police found additional evidence including a vacuum-sealed bag of marijuana, a set of brass knuckles, pepper spray, and a sheet of paper containing the tracking number of the parcel that the suspects had questioned the postal carrier about, according to the complaint. With that piece of paper were three $100 bills and a note reading: “Need full name Physical + vehicle description of carrier(s) on this very date. You will be compensated someone will meet you on Friday or Saturday.”
At the time of his arrest, Medina was on federal supervised release after serving a 10-year sentence for drug-trafficking and firearms charges, court documents show.
The criminal complaint states that Garay has a “vast criminal history dating back to 2010,” which includes arrests on various drug and firearms charges. He was also on federal supervised release after he pleaded guilty to heroin distribution in January 2015 and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Hall’s criminal record dates back even further to 2000, according to the complaint, including arrests in Rhode Island and Georgia on assault, drug and firearms charges. In 2006, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release.