Just before 11 p.m. on Jan. 10, Cranston officers Daniel Dempsey and Austin Smith were on patrol in the Arlington section of the city. According to a press release, Dempsey was showing Smith, who is just three weeks out of the academy, “the ropes” when they noticed a 2006 black BMW on Princess Avenue moving faster than the speed limit.
When the car continued to flee the traffic stop, they ran the plate and discovered the registration was suspended. The vehicle took off down Farmington Avenue and into the parking lot of Farmington Terrace Apartments. The officers soon discovered why they were reluctant to stop.
Police said the driver and passenger got out of the vehicle and pretended to not notice them but, after they were given verbal commands to show their hands, the operator tried to reach back into the vehicle, which heightened the officers’ suspicions.
They said the passenger got out holding a large brown bag against his stomach. He was ordered to drop the bag and was arrested as additional police arrived. They discovered several large plastic sandwich bags full of suspected heroin.
The suspects were identified as 34-year-old Luis Marte, who lives in an apartment at 151 Farmington Avenue in Cranston, and 26-year-old Luis Fernandez, of 70 Perkins Avenue, Cranston. In addition to the narcotics, police said they found three cell phones and more than $3,200 in cash.
When they inventoried the narcotics, they found four large plastic sandwich bags containing between 100 and 200 grams of heroin each, for a combined weight of 696.4 grams, or roughly a pound and a half.
Based on the large amount of drugs seized, the Cranston Police Special Investigations Unit, led by Det. Sgt. Kevin Antonucci, joined the investigation. The unit and Ptrl. Lt. Russell Henry got a search warrant for Marte’s apartment and consent to search Fernandez’s residence, where they seized a Remington 870, a 12-gauge pump action shotgun. The search warrant at Marte’s apartment turned up an additional 116 grams of heroin, bringing the total amount to 812 grams, just under two pounds, with an estimated street value of around $110,000. Scales and 55,000 individual baggies used to distribute narcotics were found.
Police Department seized the 2006 BMW, $3,200 in cash, two Samsung Smart television sets and a Mac computer, all of which are subject to forfeiture as proceeds of drug trafficking.
Both men were charged with possession with the intent to deliver heroin, 1 gram to 1 kilogram. Fernandez, who was driving the suspect vehicle, was charged with an additional count of attempting to elude a police officer. Both men were arraigned and held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institute, where they await trial.