Contact: Captain Michael J. Winquist, Detective Commander Telephone: (401) 444-1008
Colonel Steven G. O'Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, announced today that members of the Rhode Island State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force arrested a Woonsocket man in a heroin distribution operation as a result of an undercover investigation.
During the month of November, 2012 the Rhode Island State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force received information from the Franklin, Massachusetts Police Department and Department of Homeland Security/Immigration and Customs Enforcement about a suspect conducting a heroin distribution operation in the City of Woonsocket. Based on the information an investigation was initiated. A Task Force member, acting in an undercover capacity, was able to make contact with the target and purchase heroin from him on several occasions. As a result, arrest and search warrants were obtained for Giovanni Morales Nieves, age 22, and his residence at 214 Cottage Street, 3rd Floor, Woonsocket, RI. The warrants were signed by The Honorable Elaine T. Bucci of the Sixth Division District Court.
On January 9, 2013 at approximately 3:45 p.m., members of the HIDTA Task Force and the Woonsocket Police Department executed the warrants. At the time of the arrest, Mr. Nieves was found to have three small bags of heroin on his person. A search of the residence revealed approximately 93 grams of heroin, scales, packaging material and additional drug distribution paraphernalia.
• Giovanni Morales Nieves was charged with 1) Delivery of Heroin to a Police Officer (2 counts), 2) Possession of Heroin 1 Ounce to 1 Kilogram, 3) Possession of Heroin with Intent to Distribute. He was presented in Sixth Division District Court in front of The Honorable Judge Walter Gorman, where he was ordered held without bail and transported to the Adult Correctional Institute pending a bail hearing on January 24, 2013.
The HIDTA Task Force is comprised of members of the Rhode Island State Police, Johnston, Pawtucket, Providence, North Kingstown, North Providence and Smithfield Police Departments, as well as agents/representatives from the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Homeland Security Investigations/Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Rhode Island National Guard Counterdrug Program.