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RI State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force and the RI Office of Attorney General Arrest 12 Subjects in "Operation Hybrid"

Contact: Captain Kevin M. O'Brien, Assistant Detective Commander Telephone: (401) 444-1011

Colonel Steven G. O'Donnell, Superintendent, of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner/Director of Public Safety, and Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announce the arrest of 12 subjects by members of the Rhode Island State Police / High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force. This operation was conducted with the Rhode Island Office of Attorney General. The HIDTA Task Force is comprised of members from the Rhode Island State Police, Johnston Police, Providence Police, North Providence Police, Pawtucket Police, Smithfield Police, Central Falls Police, Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/ Homeland Security Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Rhode Island National Guard. These officers commenced an investigation during the month of August 2012 into a large-scale heroin trafficking organization. During this sixteen (16) month investigation the HIDTA Task Force identified the leaders of the organization as well as other members of their drug trafficking organization.

HIDTA developed information that two (2) subjects, identified only by their street names "Jose" and "Junior," were the leaders of a large heroin distribution network operating in the City of Providence. These subjects were also known to utilize several vehicles containing elaborate, electronically operated, hidden compartments to conceal their illicit trade. The subjects were later positively identified as Henry Ortiz, age 36 of 21 Tyndall Avenue Providence, RI and Richard Pena, age 39 of 20 Abram Street, Providence, RI.

In November, 2013, the Honorable Alice Gibney, Presiding Justice of the Rhode Island Superior Court signed two Court Orders authorizing the above named law enforcement agencies to intercept communications over three cellular telephone numbers utilized by "Jose" and "Junior", to operate and conduct criminal operations, to include: Delivery of Schedule Controlled Substances (R.I.G.L. 21-28-4.01) and Conspiracy to Violate the Uniform Controlled Substances Act (R.I.G.L 21-28-4.08); in violation of the General Laws of Rhode Island (1956) as amended (Reenactment 2002).

Members of the Rhode Island State Police HIDTA Task Force maintained electronic audio intercept surveillance of the telephones accounts Tuesday November 12th, 2013 up to and including Wednesday December 11th, 2013. Over the course of this investigation, HIDTA positively identified numerous individuals as co-conspirators in the illegal heroin distribution operation.

Throughout the course of this investigation, members of the intercept team have established through numerous intercepted telephone conversations and surveillances that Ortiz and Pena were conducting an illegal drug trafficking operation. Members also have conducted physical surveillance and have observed them meeting with known and unknown individuals for the purpose of distributing heroin for profit.

During this investigation the HIDTA Task Force intercepted over 1,100 telephone calls. On December 11th, 2013 Task Force members arrested twelve (12) individuals for various charges. Members also executed six search warrants on residences' and businesses in Providence, North Providence and Pawtucket. Members seized over one kilogram of heroin, two (2) firearms, ammunition, drug packaging paraphernalia, digital scales, nine motor vehicles of which several had hidden compartments and over $11,000.00 in United States Currency.

On December 11, 2013 the above named members of law enforcement executed numerous arrest warrants throughout the State. As a result the following subjects were arrested:

Henry Ortiz, age 36, of Providence 4 Counts Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Deliver Heroin. 3 Counts Conspiracy to Deliver Heroin. 1 Count Possession of Heroin 1oz to 1 kilo 1 Count Delivery of Heroin

Richard Pena, age 39, of Providence 2 Counts Possession of a Firearm by Criminals and Fugitives 1 Count Possession of a Firearm While in Possession With Intent to Deliver 3 Counts Conspiracy to Deliver Heroin 4 Counts Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Deliver Heroin. 1 Count Delivery of Heroin 1 Count Possession with intent to deliver Schedule I-V Possession of Heroin 1 Ounce to 1 Kilogram

Yahira Liranzo, age 31, of Providence 3 Counts Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Deliver Heroin. 3 Counts conspiracy to Deliver Heroin. 1 Count Delivery of Heroin.

Rafael Galvez, age 40, of Providence 3 Counts Conspiracy to Deliver Heroin. 1 Count Delivery of Heroin. 1 Count Possession with intent to deliver Schedule I-V Possession of Heroin 1 Ounce to 1 Kilogram

Cara Stifano, age 41, of Cranston 2 Counts Soliciting Another to Commit a Crime.

Christopher Mancini, age 41, of North Providence 2 Counts Possess with Intent to Deliver. 1 Count Possession of a Controlled Substance Schedule 2 (Methadone).

Patrick Skahen, age 34, of Cranston 2 Counts Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Deliver Heroin.

Troy Vespa, age 33, of Ashland, MA 3 Counts Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Deliver Heroin. 1 Count Possess with Intent to Deliver Heroin.

Scott Conti, age 34, of Ashland, MA 3 Counts Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Deliver Heroin. 1 Count Possess with Intent to Deliver Heroin.

Joseph Moody. age 55, of Providence 2 Counts Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Deliver Heroin.

Sheila Moody, age 49, of Providence 2 Counts Soliciting Another to Commit a Crime.

Arcadio Santiago, age 63, of Providence 1 Count Possession of Heroin 3 Counts Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Deliver Heroin.

All suspects were arraigned in 6th Division District Court on the afternoon of December 11th, 2013 pending future court appearances.

Related links

Department or agency: Rhode Island State Police

Online: http://www.risp.ri.gov

Release date: 12-12-2013

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