EAST PROVIDENCE — Investigators from the East Providence Police Department Vice Unit assisted by patrolmen had an eventful month of arrests in April, including one incident when the suspect attempted to hide drugs in his backside.
On April 24, at approximately 12:30 p.m., investigators with the departments Vice Unit were conducting surveillance at America’s Best Value Inn on Newport Avenue. In doing so, they observed what they believed to be a narcotics transaction. The suspect vehicle exited the motel parking lot, traveling north on Newport Avenue. Investigators requested the assistance of the Patrol Division in executing a motor vehicle stop.
Ptlm. Ryan Vose assisted, and stopped the vehicle in the parking lot of Santander Bank on Newport Avenue. Just prior to the traffic stop, investigators observed the occupants making furtive movements; as if to retrieve or conceal something. Investigators relayed their observations to Ptlm. Vose as the vehicle came to a stop in the bank parking lot.
Ptlm. Vose made contact with the operator, Joseph Rodriguez Lorenzo, 23, of Cumberland, and asked that he exit the vehicle. While speaking with Mr. Lorenzo, it was obvious that he was being deceptive and evasive. Ptlm. Vose conducted a pat down search of Mr. Lorenzo’s person and while doing so, he felt what appeared to be contraband concealed within Mr. Lorenzo’s buttocks area. Mr. Lorenzo informed officers that he had cocaine on his person, and as he relaxed a plastic bag containing 10 individual bags of cocaine fell down his pant leg on to the ground. Lorenzo was taken into custody without incident.
Investigators seized $480 from Mr. Lorenzo’s person, pending asset forfeiture consideration with the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office. Mr. Lorenzo was charged with Manufacturing/Possession/Delivery of Cocaine and driving in possession of a controlled substance.
Ormond Street bust
In March of 2014, members of the East Providence Police Vice Unit received several complaints regarding possible drug activity in the area of 10 Ormond Drive. Further investigation revealed that Jeffrey Freitas, 28, was selling heroin from his parent’s home.
Surveillance teams were established and observed Mr. Freitas conducting hand to hand transactions in front of his Ormond Drive residence. Surveillance also observed Mr. Freitas making suspected deliveries throughout the city.
On April 14, investigators followed Mr. Freitas to a location in Pawtucket where he was observed entering a residence and exiting within minutes. Suspecting Mr. Freitas purchased narcotics; Investigators requested the assistance of the Patrol Division and executed a motor vehicle stop on Newport Avenue. Mr. Freitas who didn’t have an active license was taken into custody and in doing so; investigators located and seized 10 gram form bags of heroin. The passenger in his vehicle was also taken into custody on an outstanding arrest warrant.
Investigators responded back to the Mr. Freitas residence and executed a search warrant. Freitas was charged with the following; Manufacturing/Possessing/Delivery of Heroin, Driving in possession of a controlled substance, and driving without a license. Mr. Freitas who is a probation violator is being held at the Adult Correctional Institute.
“Molly” found on Ingraham Street
In February of 2014, members of the Vice Unit received complaints regarding possible drug activity at 72 Ingraham Street. Utilizing confidential sources,
Investigators discovered that Andrew Hedges, 28, was selling cocaine, MDMA (methamphetamine) or “Molly,” and marijuana from his Ingraham Street residence. Surveillance teams were established and observed several hand to hand transactions take place at or in front of Mr. Hedges’ residence.
On April 25, investigators observed Mr. Hedges leave his residence and with the assistance of the Patrol Division, he was stopped on Warren Avenue. Investigators then executed a search warrant on his Ingraham Street address and in doing so, located and seized the following: 47.99 grams of cocaine, several grams of MDMA, and two pounds of marijuana, digital scales, packaging material, and cutting agents.
Investigators also seized three of Mr. Hedges vehicles, one of which was reported stolen out of Central Falls back in December. Information was received that Mr. Hedges and his wife were collecting welfare; therefore, it’s believed that the vehicles as well as other personal items were paid for with proceeds from drug sales. The packages will be submitted to the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office for asset forfeiture consideration. Mr. Hedges was transported to headquarters and charged with the following; Manufacturing/Possession/Delivery (Cocaine), Manufacturing/Possession/Delivery (Marijuana), Possession of MDMA and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Mr. Hedges was held without bail at the ACI.
Vehicle pursuit on I-195 East
On April 17 at approximately 2:11 p.m., EPPD Sgt. Diogo Mello executed a motor vehicle stop on Interstate 195 east for a motor vehicle violation (speeding). In speaking with the operator, Jerome Perry of Fall River, it was obvious to Sgt. Mello that Mr. Perry was being deceptive and evasive. Mr. Perry informed Sgt. Mello that he didn’t have his license on him, and that he was arrested in the past for motor vehicle violations.
Sgt. Mello returned to his cruiser and ran a criminal history check on Mr. Perry, which revealed over 80 entries in Massachusetts; to include, drug trafficking and firearms charges. Backup officers arrived on the scene, and Sgt. Mello spoke with Mr. Perry regarding his criminal history.
Mr. Perry’s nervousness began to escalate, and he stated, “I know I was speeding… just give me the ticket!” Mr. Perry was asked to exit the vehicle, and he ignored the officers request. Mr. Perry fled the scene at a high rate of speed traveling east on I-195. Officers pursued the vehicle into Seekonk where the pursuit was terminated.
While taking Exit 2 in Swansea, Patrolman Kris Ellinwood observed Perry stopped at Routes 136 and 6. Ptlm. Ellinwood was able to take Perry into custody after a brief struggle. Along the side of Mr. Perry’s vehicle, officers observed white powder/chunks strewn along the drives’ side of the vehicle, stretching from the driver’s window to the rear bumper. A field test was conducted, and the powder tested positive for cocaine.
While searching Mr. Perry’s person, officers located and seized a large plastic bag containing cocaine residue. Inside the vehicle officers located and seized $7,480 in U.S. Currency. The money was seized where it will undergo federal asset forfeiture considerations. Mr. Perry pleaded “Nolo Contendere” to eluding police and obstruction; receiving one-year probation, one year suspended and a four-month loss of license.
On April 30, members of the Patrol Division and Vice Unit arrested two males from Fall River for possessing 250 packets of heroin while traveling east on Interstate 195 at approximately 4:30 p.m. Ptlm. Michael Prendergast stopped a Massachusetts registered vehicle for a motor vehicle violation. The occupants were making furtive movements and were removed from the vehicle for officer safety.
While conducting a pat down search of the passenger, Ryan Medeiros, a brick of heroin fell from his jacket sleeve. Mr. Medeiros was placed into custody without further incident. The operator, Arthur Pereira, informed officers that an additional four bricks of heroin were located in the vehicle under the center console. officers examined the center console and seized 200 packets of heroin.
In the process, officers noticed that Mr. Pereira had his one-and-a-half-year-old daughter in the backseat. Messrs. Pereira and Medeiros were transported to headquarters for processing. Once at headquarters Department of Children, Youth and Families was notified and the child released to her aunt.