3 Providence Brothers, Previously Deported, Arrested for Leading Major Drug Cartel

Friday, April 14, 2017
GoLocalProv News Team

FBI Arrests 15 for running heroin and cocaine supply chain in New England
The three brothers, who allegedly reentered the county after having been previously convicted of felony drug crimes and deported, arranged for several shipments of multi-kilograms of heroin and cocaine to be brought from Mexico to stash houses in Cranston and Woonsocket. The drugs were then distributed to mid-level drug dealers and street dealers in the greater Providence and greater Boston areas and in Hartford, Connecticut.

A total of 15 people who were running a heroin and cocaine supply chain across Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut were arrested on Thursday. 

The announcement was made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Acting U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island Stephen Dambruch, and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Field Division Harold Shaw. in separate, but coordinated press announcements.

“The President has made the dismantlement and destruction of drug cartels a top priority, and cases like these are integral in that effort. When law enforcement – federal, state and local – work together like these partners in Rhode Island, we will be one step closer to fulfilling this goal and protecting our communities,” said Sessions. 

The Investigation 

RI's Acting U.S. Attorney Dambruch filed in court documents that the Valdez Drug Trafficking Organization, run by three brothers, Hector Valdez, 47 and Claudio Valdez, 44, Dominican nationals living in Woonsocket, and Juan Valdez, 50, also a Dominican national living in Milton, Mass.

"As alleged, the Valdez brothers trafficked in all types of drugs and profited from the addictions that have destroyed lives and torn apart families here in New England. This case illustrates that drug cartels based in foreign countries will go anywhere to distribute their deadly products. The FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force will do everything it can to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations that threaten the safety and stability of our neighborhoods,” said Shaw. 

Based on information developed by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force during the investigation dubbed “Operation Triple Play,” a reference to the three Valdez brothers, the FBI, assisted by federal, state, and local law enforcement agents and officers in three states, executed 15 federal arrest warrants and 13 search warrants issued by the U.S. District Courts.

Immigration detainers have been lodged against nine of the defendants charged in this matter, identified as Dominican nationals, most living in the United States with what are alleged to be stolen identities. Additionally, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents assisting in the execution of the arrest and search warrants detained two individuals on administrative warrants for removal who they encountered but who were not criminally charged as a result of Operation Triple Play.

During the investigation which started in September 2016, and as a result of search warrants executed this week, the FBI Safe Streets Task Force seized almost 4 kilograms of heroin, 1.5 kilograms of fentanyl, 2 kilograms of cocaine, 155 grams of crack cocaine, more than 100 pounds of cutting agents, approximately 12 kilograms of powdery substances that have been sent for laboratory analysis, approximately $95,000 in cash and 9 vehicles. Five of the cars had hidden compartments allegedly used for transporting drugs and money.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gerard B. Sullivan, with the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorneys William J. Ferland, Ronald A. Gendron and Richard W. Rose, according to a press release.

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