PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Five out of 16 suspects from a New England drug ring have now made plea agreements stemming from what was dubbed Operation Triple Play, in reference to the three brothers who allegedly ran the organization.
The investigation, which began in September 2016 with undercover surveillance in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut, nabbed alleged kingpins Juan, Hector and Claudio Valdez last April.
They ran a sophisticated, multi-state ring, according to investigators, trafficking drugs to New England from Mexico, with stash houses in Cranston and Woonsocket and drug deals in neighborhoods in the Providence, Boston and Hartford areas.
$95,000 in cash was confiscated, along with a total of about 17 pounds of drugs – 4 kilograms of heroin, 1.5 kilograms of fentanyl, 2 kilograms of cocaine and 155 grams of crack.
The street value was said to be about $700,000 but investigators suspect it was only a small amount of what was sold before FBI agents started tracking the case.
The plea agreements involve low-level dealers.
Louis Pellot, 43, of Central Falls, was sentenced to 12 months in prison last Wednesday after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute a kilogram or more of heroin.
Wandy Diaz, 37, of Providence, signed a plea agreement Thursday for conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. Diaz will forfeit approximately $18,000 of seized drug money, and the government will recommend the statute minimum of five years in prison.
Juan Bautista, of Hartford, signed a plea agreement last Friday for conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and illegal entry into the country. He agreed to forfeit $3,200, and the government agreed to recommend a sentence within the range of his offense level, or the minimum mandatory, whichever is longer.
Also last Friday, Jennifer Perdome, 42, of Providence, signed an agreement to plead guilty to using a communication device while committing a drug offense. The government will recommend a 24-month sentence for Perdome.
Jafar Munir, 61, of Smithfield, signed a plea agreement in December for one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine. The government will recommend a sentence within the guideline range for the crime.
The plea agreements do not indicate whether or not any of the five who cut plea deals will testify against the 11 remaining suspects.