Sunday, June 5, 2011

RHODE ISLAND DRUG CASE: 15 Arrested in Large Scale Cocaine Sting

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VIA THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL

By Donita Naylor

NORTH SCITUATE, R.I. -- Thirteen customers of a suspected large-scale cocaine distributor were arrested Friday, bringing to 15 the number arrested in what the R.I. State Police have dubbed "Operation Under the Radar."

State Police Superintendent Steven G. O'Donnell announced Friday that an investigation was launched in December to find out more about a man known only as "Junior," thought to be distributing cocaine using two vehicles containing hidden, electronically operated compartments.

With court authorization from Superior Court Judge Alice Gibney, multiple law enforcement agencies "maintained continued electronic audio intercept surveillance" between April 29 and May 18, recording more than 1,100 cell phone calls, O'Donnell's release said.

On May 18, the task force arrested Franklin Then-Bello, aka "Junior," 116 Lenox Ave., 101 Miner St., and 64 Calla St., Providence, and seized 800 grams of cocaine, drug packaging paraphernalia and the two motor vehicles.

O'Donnell said in a press release that Then-Bello maintained two addresses in the city and often stayed overnight at other locations.

Then-Bello was charged with possession of more than an ounce of cocaine and possession with intent to deliver. An Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer was also placed on him for illegal re-entry after deportation, O'Donnell said.

An alleged accomplice of Then-Bello was arrested May 20. Kevin A. Bissel, 53, of 158 Main St. in Pennyan, N.Y. was charged with possession of more than an ounce of cocaine and possession with intent to deliver. O'Donnel's release said that Bissel was in possesssion about 150 grams of cocaine and drug packaging materials.

Then, Friday, customers identified in the cell phone calls were arrested on warrants. According to the press release, they are:

James L. Brown, 61, 231 Rhodes St., Providence, on two counts of soliciting another to commit a crime.

Edward P. Medeiros, 45, 14 Cushman Ave., East Providence, on two counts of soliciting another to commit a crime.

Marc LaForge, 49, of 6 Appian Way, East Providence, on two counts of soliciting another to commit a crime.

Daniel S. Benevides, 37, 459 Child St., Warren, on two counts of soliciting another to commit a crime.

Joao Pimental, 54, 325 Child St., Warren, on two counts of soliciting another to commit a crime.

Stephen J. Restivo, 62, 20 Croade St., Warren, on two counts of soliciting another to commit a crime.

Patricia A. Guido, 53, 118 Water St., Warren, on two counts of soliciting another to commit a crime.

Norman M. Barnkowski, 47, 13 Parker Ave., Warren, on two counts of soliciting another to commit a crime.

William G. Destefano, 42, 1 Hezekiah Drive, Warren, on one count of soliciting another to commit a crime.

Robert P. Dellaire, 46, 833 Main St., Warren, on one count of soliciting another to commit a crime.

Ron J. Charves, 34, 24 Beach St., Warren, on one count of soliciting another to commit a crime.

Scott Circosta, 49, 11 Lucas Ave. Newport, on one count of soliciting another to commit a crime.

Richard M. Reyes, 22, 128 Canterbury St., Apt #1 F, Worcester, Mass., on one count of possession of cocaine with intent to deliver.
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