PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that a Cranston man was sentenced on January 26, 2020 in Providence Superior Court to serve five and a half years at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) stemming from his involvement in receiving kilos of cocaine shipped to his Cranston apartment through the mail.
Alexander Mercado Cosme (age 26) pleaded nolo contendere to one count of possession of over one kilogram of cocaine, and one count of conspiracy to violate Rhode Island's Controlled Substance Act.
At yesterday's hearing before Superior Court Justice Maureen B. Keough, the court sentenced Cosme to 10 years at the ACI, with five and a half years to serve and the balance suspended with probation.
"We are prioritizing our drug enforcement efforts on those who are truly driving drug distribution in our communities," said Attorney General Neronha. "The defendant here was involved in a scheme that shipped significant amounts of cocaine, by the kilo weight, into our state before it eventually made its way into different communities. I commend the work of the Rhode Island State Police and United States Postal Inspection Office on this investigation to go after significant drug distribution."
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on November 5, 2019, the Rhode Island State Police (RISP) conducted a search of a package destined for Cosme's apartment and found two kilograms of cocaine inside.
The RISP began their investigation in June 2019 into Cosme's mail scheme, after receiving an anonymous tip that he was shipping kilograms of cocaine through the United State Postal Service. After several months of surveillance by the RISP and the United State Postal Inspection Office, law enforcement officers conducted a search of a suspicious package destined for Cosme's apartment using the RISP K9 unit.
Law enforcement found two kilograms of cocaine inside the package hidden among various children's toys and a slushy maker. The RISP also searched Cosme's car and found $5,000 in cash along with packaging materials.
"This successful outcome highlights the effective partnership between our local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies that are dedicated to disrupting the flow of illegal narcotics into Rhode Island," said Colonel James M. Manni, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety. "I commend the detectives and prosecutors who worked diligently on this case and I applaud their commitment to keeping our communities safe."
Detective Marc Alboum of the RISP and United States Postal Inspector Richard Atwood led the investigation into the case. Special Assistant Attorney General John Perrotta prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General.