Attorney General Peter Neronha, Colonel James M. Manni, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety, and Kelly D. Brady, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, announce the arrests of five individuals on narcotics and weapons charges after a joint investigation by state and federal task forces.
The four men and one woman were arrested yesterday as a result of an investigation by the Rhode Island State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (HIDTA), the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), the Rhode Island State Police Violent Fugitive Task Force and the Pawtucket and Providence Police Departments.
The investigation, which began approximately four months ago, resulted in the seizure of two handguns and a quantity of cocaine.
"The charges brought yesterday confirm our collective law enforcement commitment to ensuring the quality of life in our neighborhoods," said Attorney General Neronha. "Those who deal firearms and narcotics have our full prosecutorial attention. I want to thank the Rhode Island State Police, ATF, and the Pawtucket and Providence Police Departments for their outstanding work on this investigation and their commitment to the people of Rhode Island."
"The Rhode Island State Police has zero tolerance for anyone trying to sell drugs or guns in any of our communities," Colonel Manni said. "We will continue to work closely with our partners in the Attorney General's Office, local police departments and all federal agencies to aggressively investigate, arrest and prosecute these types of crimes whenever and wherever they occur."
"These arrests demonstrate the outstanding partnership between the Rhode Island State Police and the ATF as well as the commitment we share to work together to interdict illegal firearms, narcotics and the violent criminals that compromise the safety of our communities," said Kelly D. Brady, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Boston Field Division.
The suspects were identified as:
Justin Taylor, age 29, of 14 Saint Mary St., West Warwick, charged with: • Illegal Sale of a Concealed Firearm (two counts) • Possession of a Firearm After Being Convicted of a Crime of Violence (two counts) • Delivery of a Schedule II Controlled Substance – Cocaine (two counts) • Controlled Substance Conspiracy • Obtaining Money Under False Pretenses • Conspiracy (three separate counts)
Edward Lepore, age 26, of 23 Robinson Way, West Warwick, charged with: • Delivery of a Schedule II Controlled Substance – Cocaine • Controlled Substance Conspiracy.
Elizabeth Brouillard, age 24, of 14 Whispering Pines St., Cumberland, charged with: • Illegal Sale of a Concealed Firearm (two counts) • License or Permit Required to Carry a Pistol (two counts) • Conspiracy (two separate counts)
Dylan Hansen, age 22, of 50 Murray St., Coventry, charged with: • Conspiracy • Obtaining Money Under False Pretenses
Kevin Smith, age 35, of 85 Centre St., Pawtucket, charged with: • Illegal Sale of a Concealed Firearm • Possession of a Firearm After Being Convicted of a Crime of Violence • Conspiracy
Defendants were all arraigned in 6th Division District Court on Wednesday. Taylor and Lepore were held without bail as violators of probation conditions stemming from previous convictions. Brouillard, Smith, and Hansen were released on bail.
The HIDTA Task Force is managed by the Rhode Island State Police and comprised of members from Pawtucket Police, West Warwick Police, Lincoln Police, Middletown Police, Providence Police, North Providence Police, Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI), Rhode Island National Guard, United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
The Violent Fugitive Task Force is managed by the Rhode Island State Police and the United States Marshal Service and is comprised of members from the Warwick Police, Pawtucket Police, Coventry Police, Providence Police, Portsmouth Police, Middletown Police, Cranston Police and East Providence Police Departments.