PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that a former Providence man was sentenced to serve five years at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) after being extradited from the Dominican Republic to Rhode Island to face drug dealing charges.
Fausto Clase (age 30) pleaded nolo contendere in Providence County Superior Court on Thursday to one count each of delivery of heroin, possession with intent to deliver heroin, and possession of one ounce to one kilogram of heroin.
Superior Court Magistrate Richard Raspallo sentenced Clase to 15 years at the ACI with five years to serve and the balance suspended with probation.
"The lengthy passage of time and a defendant who was an international fugitive from justice greatly complicated the prosecution of this case," said Attorney General Neronha. "The defendant here was dealing heroin, and the danger that such criminal activity poses to the public in the context of our ongoing opioid crisis is apparent to everyone. The Providence Police Department, Department of Justice, U.S. Marshals Service, and prosecutors worked incredibly hard over the last seven years to bring the defendant to justice, and I am grateful for their efforts."
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on February 27, 2013, Clase was observed by Providence Police delivering a bag of heroin to an individual on Brattle Street.
Clase was arrested and consented to a search of his home where police found a total of 68 grams of heroin, $1,136 in cash, seven rounds of 9mm ammunition, and drug paraphernalia in his basement and in a doghouse in his backyard.
Clase failed to appear in court for his trial on February 17, 2014 and a warrant for his arrest was issued. After investigation, it was determined that Clase had flown to the Dominican Republic over a week before his scheduled trial date.
Prosecutors filed an extradition request with the United States Department of Justice Office of International Affairs (DOJ OIA), which was granted and sent to the authorities in the Dominican Republic. The U.S. Marshals Service tracked Clase to the Santo Domingo area in the Dominican Republic. Clase then took a trip to Madrid, Spain and upon his return to the Dominican Republic, he was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service and Dominican immigration authorities. He was then extradited back to Rhode Island where he returned on June 12, 2020.
Detectives Martin Hames, John Bento, and Thomas Zincone of the Providence Police Department led the investigation into the case with the help of United States Marshal Justin Carvalho. Assistant Attorney General Joseph McBurney prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General.