Two Detained on Federal Drug Trafficking Charges as Rhode Island FBI Safe Streets Task Force Seizes Two Kilos of Cocaine
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 28, 2014|
PROVIDENCE, RI—Jose E. Lopez Mauricio, aka “Flaco,” 28, of Warwick, Rhode Island, and Jorge Guzman-Rivera, 28, of New Bedford, Massachusetts, have been ordered detained in federal custody on drug trafficking charges following their arrests and the seizure of two kilos of cocaine by the Rhode Island FBI Safe Street Task Force, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the FBI.
According to an affidavit in support of criminal complaints and a search arrest warrant in this matter, in February 2013, the FBI Safe Streets Task Force began an investigation into the alleged drug trafficking activities of Jose Mauricio. According to the affidavit, between February 2013 and January 2014, an individual cooperating with law enforcement, and while under the surveillance of law enforcement, allegedly effected five drug transactions for varying amounts of heroin and crack cocaine. It is also alleged that in November 2013, while under the surveillance of law enforcement, the individual allegedly effected the purchase of two firearms from Mauricio.
According to the affidavit, it is alleged that in January 2014, Mauricio offered to sell two kilos of cocaine to the individual. The two spoke via telephone on numerous occasions and met in person to allegedly arrange for the sale of the two kilos of cocaine for $70,000. During at least one meeting that occurred outside a Providence residence, an individual was observed by law enforcement watching the meeting from inside the residence from a third floor window.
According to the affidavit, when an undercover FBI agent and a Providence Police Department Narcotics Unit undercover officer, posing as associates of the cooperating witness, returned to the residence to allegedly purchase the two kilos of cocaine, Mauricio exited the building to meet them. As Mauricio exited the building, he was detained by FBI Safe Streets Task Force agents. At the same time, agents entered a rear door of the building and made entry into the third floor apartment. Inside the apartment agents encountered and detained Jorge Guzman-Rivera, the individual observed by law enforcement watching from the window. Agents also discovered and seized two kilos of cocaine.
Jose Mauricio has been detained on one count each of possession with the intent to distribute heroin and possession with the intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine. Jorge Guzman-Rivera has been detained on one count each of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland.
The Rhode Island FBI Safe Streets Task Force, composed of law enforcement agents and officers the FBI, Rhode Island State Police, and the Providence, Cranston, and Woonsocket Police Departments, enhances the effectiveness of federal, state, and local law enforcement resources through a well-coordinated initiative seeking the most effective avenues to investigate, prosecute, and incarcerate dangerous offenders.
The mission of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force is to identify and target for prosecution criminal enterprise groups responsible for drug trafficking, money laundering, alien smuggling, crimes of violence such as murder and aggravated assault, robbery, and violent street gangs, as well as to intensely focus on the apprehension of dangerous fugitives where there is or may be a federal investigative interest.