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Four arraigned on drug trafficking and firearms charges

Investigators seize over 1,500 fentanyl pills, ghost gun, illegal handgun, and large capacity magazine from residences in Providence and Pawtucket

PROVIDENCE, R.I.- Attorney General Peter F. Neronha, Commissioner of Public Safety Steven M. Paré and Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr. announced that four individuals were arraigned yesterday on multiple felony charges in Sixth Division District Court, following a joint investigation into drug trafficking and illegal firearms in the greater Providence area by the Providence Police Department and the Office of the Attorney General.

Jose Martinez and Antonio Vazquez face multiple felony counts, including possession with intent to deliver fentanyl, cocaine, and marijuana; possession with intent to deliver between one ounce and one kilogram of fentanyl; conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substances Act; possession of a ghost gun; alteration of identifying marks on a firearm; and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

Sheridan Fernandez and Malayshia Iaciofano-Murray were each charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance.

The defendants were arrested on July 7, following the execution of search warrants at residences in Providence and Pawtucket where investigators seized significant amounts of narcotics, illegal firearms, cash, and drug paraphernalia.

"As alleged here, drug traffickers moving significant amounts of fentanyl and armed with guns – particularly guns with large capacity magazines – are a threat to the safety of Rhode Islanders," said Attorney General Neronha. "Too often that dangerous combination is fueling street violence and overdoses and causing tragic outcomes in our communities. More than ever, this Office is working in partnership with the Providence Police Department to investigate serious drug trafficking and gun violence cases that cross city boundaries. I am grateful for that partnership and anticipate that it will continue to produce strong results for the people of Rhode Island."

"The Providence Police Intelligence and Organized Crime Bureau, in coordination with members of the Narcotics Bureau, have proven once again that illegal drugs and firearms will not be tolerated," said Commissioner Paré. "The arrests that resulted from this investigation should send a clear message that the Providence Police will continue their efforts to rid our streets of violent criminals involved in drug and firearm operations. I thank our law enforcement partners at the Attorney General's Office for their tireless efforts in the prosecution of this case and commend our officers for their outstanding work throughout this investigation."

"I commend the members of the Providence Police Department for the work they do throughout the City of Providence each and every day," said Colonel Clements. "I would like to recognize Detectives Jonathan Desmarais and Matthew McGloin from the Intelligence and Organized Crime Bureau and Detective Eduardo Curi from the Narcotics Bureau for their outstanding work on this investigation and thank the Attorney General's office for their ongoing support and strong prosecution of this case."

On July 7, detectives from the Providence Police Department arrested Jose Martinez, following a vehicle stop, and seized approximately 97 fentanyl pills and approximately $1,500 in cash.

Shortly thereafter, detectives executed a search warrant at a residence on Salina Street in Providence where they seized approximately 800 additional fentanyl pills and arrested Sheridan Fernandez.

Detectives later executed a search warrant at a residence and vehicle on Dunnell Avenue in Pawtucket where they seized approximately 630 fentanyl pills; amounts of crack cocaine, heroin, and marijuana; a .40 caliber ghost gun with a 30-round magazine containing 23 rounds and laser attachment, a 9mm Smith and Wesson semi-automatic pistol with an obliterated serial number; approximately $8,000 in cash; and drug paraphernalia.

Detectives arrested Antonio Vazquez and Malayshia Iaciofano-Murray at the residence on Dunnell Avenue.

In total, detectives seized approximately 1,586 fentanyl pills and approximately $9,566 in cash.

Martinez and Vazquez are being held without bail on the new charges. The State also presented Vazquez as a Superior Court probation violator and Martinez as a Superior Court bail violator.

Detectives Jonathan Desmarais and Matthew McGloin of the Providence Police Department, and Investigator William Dwyer, Assistant Attorney General Joseph McBurney, and Special Assistant Attorney General Edward G. Mullaney of the Office of the Attorney General are leading the investigation and prosecution of the case, with assistance from the Pawtucket Police Department.

Defendant/charges:

Jose Martinez (age 23) Providence, R.I. 62-2021-06528 One count of possession with intent to deliver fentanyl; one count of possession with intent to deliver cocaine; one count of possession with intent to deliver marijuana; once count of possession with intent to deliver one ounce to one kilogram of fentanyl; one count of conspiracy; one count of possession of a firearm while possessing with intent to deliver a controlled substance; one count of possession of a ghost gun; one count of alteration of identification marks on a firearm; and one count of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

Antonio Vazquez (age 26) Pawtucket, R.I. 62-2021-06529 One count of possession with intent to deliver fentanyl; one count of possession with intent to deliver cocaine; one count of possession with intent to deliver marijuana; once count of possession with intent to deliver one ounce to one kilogram of fentanyl; one count of conspiracy; one count of possession of a firearm while possessing with intent to deliver a controlled substance; one count of carrying a pistol without a license; one count of alteration of identification marks on a firearm; and one count of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

Sheridan Fernandes (age 20) Woonsocket, R.I. 62-2021-06527 One count of possession of fentanyl

Malayshia Iaciofano-Murray (age 21) Pawtucket, R.I. 62-2021-06526 One count of possession of heroin.

An indictment, information, or complaint is merely an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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