Colonel Steven G. O'Donnell, Superintendent, of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of Public Safety, announces the arrest of three men on drug distribution charges by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force.
The arrests are the result of an investigation that began during the last week of January 2014, when members of the Connecticut Statewide Narcotics Task Force contacted members of the Rhode Island HIDTA Task Force in reference to a suspected illegal marijuana distribution network that was being operated within the State of Rhode Island. The investigation identified a white male subject, referred to as "J", who was alleged to be distributing multi-pound amounts of marijuana to other marijuana resellers within the Scituate, Foster, and neighboring Connecticut area. The information provided alleged that "J" had numerous marijuana growing facilities at unknown locations in the Scituate, Foster, and nearby Connecticut towns. The investigation also identified a second individual named "Ross", who was alleged to be "J's" partner in the marijuana distribution organization. Further investigation revealed that "J" and "Ross" often deliver the marijuana to their customers personally; however they also utilize other individuals, or "runners", to deliver the marijuana on occasion.
HIDTA Task Force members developed information that identified "J" as Jeremy M. Corrao, DOB: 12/7/81, of Danielson, Connecticut and identified "Ross" as Ross Vance DOB: 8/15/84 of Woodstock, Connecticut. Vance has a lengthy criminal history in Connecticut and Massachusetts and is currently on "Supervised Release Status" for Possession of Narcotics in the State of Connecticut. This multi-state joint investigation revealed that Vance and Corrao operate a hydroponics growing business on Putnam Pike in the Town of Glocester.
On February 7, 2014, the HIDTA Task Force with the assistance of the Scituate Police Department and Glocester Police Department executed search warrants at the following locations:
- 17 Fairground Way, Scituate
- 42 Tucker Hollow Road, Scituate
- 14 Carue Drive, Scituate
- 42 Lorraine Avenue, North Smithfield
- 47 Pulaski Rd, Glocester
The Rhode Island search warrants resulted in the seizure of approximately two hundred and twenty-eight (228) marijuana plants, drug equipment and $19,678 in United States currency. As the warrants were being executed, Task Force members arrested two (2) "runners" outside 14 Carue Drive in Scituate with sixteen (16) pounds of marijuana.
On February 10, 2014, the HIDTA Task Force executed a search warrant at 68 Laurel Avenue, Coventry. This search warrant resulted in the seizure of twenty (20) additional marijuana plants, drug equipment and approximately twenty-five (25) pounds of processed unpackaged marijuana.
The Connecticut Statewide Narcotics Task Force executed a search warrant at 613 Providence Pike in Danielson, CT. which resulted in the seizure of $293,000 in United States currency and over five (5) pounds of marijuana. The Connecticut Statewide Narcotics Task Force advised that they are preparing arrest warrants for numerous subjects relating to this drug trafficking organization.
In total, the search warrants resulted in the seizure of two hundred forty-eight (248) marijuana plants, over forty-six (46) pounds of processed marijuana and $312,678 in United States Currency.
Some of these marijuana growing operations had medical marijuana patient cards taped to the walls inside the residences. One of the Scituate houses, the North Smithfield house and the Coventry house had copies of the same eight (8) patient cards taped to the wall inside the residence. A check of the eight patient cards with the Rhode Island Department of Health revealed that seven of the cards were active with one expired card. The Rhode Island Department of Health will only respond to law enforcement inquires that provide a medical marijuana caregiver card number. The Department of Health will not provide law enforcement with any information concerning the name or address of the card holder.
The following three men were arrested as a result of this continuing investigation:
Jeremy Corrao, age 32, of 613 Providence Pike, Danielson, Connecticut for alleged:
- Possession of Marijuana in excess of 5 Kilograms
- Control Substance Conspiracy
- Possession with Intent to Deliver Schedule I/II
Corrao was arraigned by Justice of the Peace John McCaffrey and ordered held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institute. Carrao appeared at a bail review at Third Division District Court on February 10, 2014 and was held pending a bail hearing.
Timothy Warner, age 32, of 6 Park Avenue, Putnam, Connecticut for alleged:
- Conspiracy to violate Controlled Substance Act
Warner was arraigned by Justice of the Peace, John McCaffrey and initially ordered held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institute. Warner appeared for a bail review at Third Division District Court on February 10, 2014 and was released on $5,000 surety bail.
Christopher Goyette, age 29, of 7 Vandale St. Putnam, Connecticut for alleged:
- Possession with Intent to Deliver Schedule I and II
- Conspiracy to violate Controlled Substance Act
Goyette was arraigned by Justice of the Peace John McCaffrey and ordered held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institute. Goyette appeared for a bail review at Third Division District Court on February 10, 2014 and was released on $5,000 surety bail.
The HIDTA Task Force is managed by the Rhode Island State Police and comprised of members from Providence Police, Pawtucket Police, Johnston Police, Smithfield Police, Central Falls Police, North Providence Police, United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Rhode Island National Guard. This investigation owes its success to the outstanding interagency cooperation amongst all it's participants as well as the hard work and dedication of the task force members.