Seven Indicted in Nationwide Drug Ring from L.A. to Southern N.E.
PROVIDENCE — Federal authorities have indicted seven people in connection to a nationwide drug trafficking conspiracy that saw the shipment of significant quantities of heroin and cocaine from Southern California to southeastern Massachusetts.
U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island Aaron Weisman says seven individuals have been indicted for their alleged roles in the drug trafficking conspiracy, which investigators believe resulted in the shipment of more than 200 packages containing the drugs from the Los Angeles area to commercial mailboxes rented in dozens of locations in greater Providence and Southeastern Massachusetts.
The investigation revealed that more than 100 packages containing large amounts of cash were allegedly sent from the greater Providence area Southeastern Massachusetts back to members of the conspiracy in Los Angeles, Culver City, and Marina del Rey, CA.
A federal indictment unsealed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Providence, RI, charges two individuals from Los Angeles and five individuals from Providence with allegedly having had some role in ensuring that large quantities of drugs were shipped from the Los Angeles area to Southern New England and that payment for the drugs was shipped to the Los Angeles area.
According to court documents and information presented to the Court, investigators from the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and the Rhode Island State Police High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force determined that beginning in as early as February 2017, Robert A. Brown, 41, and Deondre Jones, 42, of Los Angeles, allegedly began shipping packages of cocaine and heroin from the Los Angeles area to commercial mailboxes in Southern New England. The mailboxes were allegedly rented by Valerie G. Gamboa, 26, Marion V. Gamboa, 25, and Giselle S. Polanco, 21, of Providence, using fraudulent driver’s licenses.
According to court documents, the packages were allegedly retrieved from the mailboxes by Joel P. Sennon, 41, and Shawn A. Silva, 37, of Providence, Polanco, and others. Packages containing payment for the drugs were allegedly mailed to Brown, Jones, and others in the Los Angeles area by Silva and others.
USPIS and HIDTA investigators determined that members of the conspiracy allegedly shipped at least 219 packages containing large quantities of cocaine or heroin, including packages containing 383 grams of heroin and 560 grams of cocaine seized by law enforcement, to commercial mailboxes in Southern New England. At least 107 packages containing large amounts of cash for payment for the drugs were mailed to the Los Angeles area. Many of the mailings and the retrieval of packages were captured on video surveillance.
A court-authorized search of Brown’s Los Angeles apartment on August 14, 2019, resulted in the seizure of more than a kilogram of cocaine in vacuumed sealed bags, $32,150 in cash, a loaded semi-automatic handgun and a semi-automatic rifle, various Priority Mail package receipts, commercial mailbox rental receipts, numerous fraudulent driver’s licenses, a cash counting machine, and various items used in the packaging and distribution of drugs.
The indictment is announced by United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Joseph W. Cronin, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division, and Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police Colonel James M. Manni.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys William J. Ferland and Christine D. Lowell.