PROVIDENCE. R.I. (WPRI) — A Woonsocket man who admitted to being a “drug runner” for a man who took steps to disguise his involvement will spend the next five years behind bars, according to U.S. Attorney Zachary Cunha.
Michael Fernandes, 36, pleaded guilty earlier this year to three counts of distribution of 28 grams or more of cocaine and conspiracy.
Cunha said Fernandes admitted to delivering a total of 104.72 grams of crack cocaine at the direction of 31-year-old Anthony Medeiros, also of Woonsocket.
FBI agents caught on to Medeiros’ trafficking operation in early 2020, when Cunha said he arranged at least four sales of crack cocaine through text messaging, phone calls and Snapchat.
Cunha said on each occasion, Medeiros would remove himself from the situation by using “runners” to deliver the drugs he sold. He used Fernandes in three of those instances, according to Cunha, and allegedly asked his girlfriend to make the fourth delivery.
Medeiros pleaded guilty back in May 2021 to distribution of cocaine, two counts of distribution of 28 grams or more of cocaine and conspiracy. He was sentenced earlier this month to five years in prison followed by four years of supervised release.
Fernandes received the same sentence, however, he will spend the first six months of supervised release at a residential reentry center in Pawtucket.
Cunha said Medeiros’ girlfriend, 28-year-old Mariah Raymond, is awaiting trial on charges of distribution of cocaine and conspiracy.