U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Rhode Island
(401) 709-5000
January 14, 2015

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Providence Resident on 26 Counts of Trafficking Heroin and Crack Cocaine

PROVIDENCE, RI—A federal grand jury in Providence returned a 26 count indictment today charging Robert L. Wilkins, 23, of Providence, with 12 counts of distribution of heroin, 12 counts of distribution of cocaine base (crack cocaine), and one count each of conspiracy to distribute cocaine base and conspiracy to distribute heroin, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston field office of the FBI.

Wilkins was arrested by members of the FBI’s Safe Streets Violent Gang Task Force and Providence Police on January 8, 2014, following a high-speed car chase and brief foot chase in Providence. Wilkins was allegedly a passenger in a vehicle that allegedly rammed a federal agent’s vehicle in an effort to flee law enforcement. The driver of the vehicle is being sought.

According to court documents and information presented to the court, since July 2014, the FBI Safe Streets Task Force has been investigating the alleged drug trafficking activities of Wilkins and his co-conspirators. It is alleged that twelve controlled purchases of heroin and twelve controlled purchases of crack cocaine were made from the defendant while he was under the surveillance of law enforcement.

According to court documents, the twelve alleged controlled purchases of crack cocaine from Wilkins ranged from approximately .6 grams to 1.5 grams and totaled about 11.5 grams. The twelve alleged controlled purchases of heroin from Wilkins ranged from .3 grams to 1.6 grams and totaled approximately 12.2 grams.

The investigation is continuing.

An indictment 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.

Wilkins has been detained in federal custody since his arrest on January 8, 2014. He was ordered detained by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond following an initial appearance in federal court on a criminal complaint charging him with 12 counts of distribution of cocaine and 12 counts of distribution of heroin.

Conspiracy to distribute heroin, conspiracy to distribute cocaine base, distribution of heroin and distribution of cocaine base are each punishable by statutory penalties of up to 20 years’ imprisonment; $1,000,000 fine; and supervised release up to life with a mandatory minimum term of three years.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ly T. Chin and Paul F. Daly, Jr.

The FBI’s Safe Streets Violent Gang Task Force consists of agents and law enforcement officers from the FBI, RI State Police, Providence, Cranston, Woonsocket, Johnston and Central Falls Police Departments and the RI Adult Corrections Institutions.

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