NEWS

Court Digest

Posted 2/3/21

Man who shipped cocaine through mail sentenced to prison

A Cranston man has been sentenced to state prison on drug charges, according to the office of Attorney General Peter Neronha.

Alexander …

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NEWS

Court Digest

Posted

Man who shipped cocaine through mail sentenced to prison

A Cranston man has been sentenced to state prison on drug charges, according to the office of Attorney General Peter Neronha.

Alexander Mercado Cosme, 26, received a 10 year-sentence with 5½ years to serve as the Adult Correctional Institutions and the remainder suspended with probation during an appearance before Superior Court Justice Maureen Keough on Jan. 26. Cosme had pleaded no contest to charges of possession of cocaine, over one kilogram, and conspiracy to violate Rhode Island’s Controlled Substance Act.

Prosecutors say the charges against Cosme stem from a Rhode Island State Police investigation that began in June 2019, when authorities received an anonymous top that he was shipping “kilograms of cocaine” through the U.S. Postal Service.

“After several months of surveillance by the RISP and the United State Postal Inspection Office, law enforcement officers conducted a search of a suspicious package destined for Cosme's apartment using the RISP K9 unit,” a statement from Neronha’s office reads. “Law enforcement found two kilograms of cocaine inside the package hidden among various children’s toys and a slushy maker. The RISP also searched Cosme’s car and found $5,000 in cash along with packaging materials.”

“We are prioritizing our drug enforcement efforts on those who are truly driving drug distribution in our communities,” Neronha said in the statement. “The defendant here was involved in a scheme that shipped significant amounts of cocaine, by the kilo weight, into our state before it eventually made its way into different communities. I commend the work of the Rhode Island State Police and United States Postal Inspection Office on this investigation to go after significant drug distribution.”

“This successful outcome highlights the effective partnership between our local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies that are dedicated to disrupting the flow of illegal narcotics into Rhode Island,” State Police Superintendent Col. James Manni said in the statement. “I commend the detectives and prosecutors who worked diligently on this case and I applaud their commitment to keeping our communities safe.”

Cocaine, heroin trafficker gets federal prison sentence

A Dominican national and Providence resident who authorities say imported cocaine and heroin from California and conspired with others to distribute the drugs from a West Warwick apartment has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Aaron Weisman.

Rafael Lara Sanquintin, 37, received the sentence Jan. 22 before U.S. District Court Judge William Smith. He was additionally ordered to serve four years of supervised release following the end of his prison term.

Prosecutors said Sanquintin was arrested in December 2016 as he attempted to illegally reenter the United States after exiting a cruise ship in West Palm Beach, Florida. He was later convicted of attempted illegal reentry after deportation by an aggravated felon.

In August 2020, Sanquintin pleaded guilty to charges of possession of 100 or more grams of heroin with intent to distribute and possession of 500 or more grams of cocaine with intent to distribute.

“On at least three occasions, Rhode Island DEA agents intercepted packages containing one or more kilos of heroin or cocaine shipped from California, that were earmarked for delivery to addresses in Warwick, Pawtucket and Providence,” a statement from Weisman’s office reads. “[Sanquintin] later admitted to a federal court judge that he directed others to retrieve the packages, and that he recruited others to work at his direction at the stash house to prepare, package, and deliver the drugs to others.”

The statement continues: “In addition to intercepting the packages, on at least two occasions DEA agents stopped vehicles containing individuals working at the direction of Sanquintin as they drove away from the stash house. On those occasions, DEA agents seized 653 grams and 1,114 grams of heroin.”

-- Daniel Kittredge

court, cocaine

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