State Police nab East Providence man in coke ring bust-up

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NORTH SCITUATE — The Rhode Island State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, during an investigation conducted with the assistance of the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office, announced the arrest of 15 subjects Tuesday, July 29, including one city man.

Richard Fanara, 51, of 28 Leroy Drive, East Providence, was arrested on charges of controlled substance conspiracy and solicitation. He was released on a $3,000 bail with surety.

The HIDTA Task Force commenced an investigation during the month of March 2012 into a large-scale cocaine trafficking organization. During the two-year investigation the HIDTA Task Force identified the leaders of the organization as well as other members of their drug trafficking organization.

HIDTA Task Force members developed information that a subject, identified only by his street name “Shorty,” was distributing cocaine in the City of Providence while utilizing several vehicles and two associates to conduct the business. The subjects were identified as Angel Martinez, a.k.a. “Shorty” of 80 Hamilton St., Providence and his associates, Wilson Cepeda of 139 West Clifford St., Providence and Ramon Feliz of 364 Smith St., Cranston. 

On Wednesday, June 11, the Honorable Alice Gibney, presiding Justice of the Rhode Island Superior Court, signed a Court Order authorizing law enforcement agencies to intercept communications over two cellular telephone numbers utilized by “Shorty” to operate and conduct criminal operations, to include: Delivery of Schedule Controlled Substances and Conspiracy to Violate the Uniform Controlled Substances Act.

Members of the Rhode Island State Police HIDTA Task Force maintained continued electronic audio intercept surveillance of the aforementioned telephone accounts from Wednesday, June 11, up to and including Monday, July 28. Over the course of this investigation, HIDTA positively identified numerous individuals as co-conspirators in their illegal cocaine distribution operation. 

Throughout the course of this investigation, members of the intercept team have established, through numerous intercepted telephone conversations and surveillances, that Martinez, Cepeda and Feliz were conducting an illegal drug trafficking operation that distributed cocaine for profit. 

During this investigation the HIDTA Task Force intercepted over 1,100 telephone calls. On July 28 and 29, Task Force members arrested 14 individuals for various charges and executed four search warrants.  Members seized approximately 1,250 grams of cocaine, over $30,000 in United States currency, drug packaging paraphernalia, digital scales and seven motor vehicles.

After being arrested, an NCIC check through the use of fingerprints revealed that Angel Martinez, a.k.a. “Shorty” and Wilson Cepeda were utilizing false identities. Angel Martinez was positively identified as Carlos Davila, 38, and Wilson Cepeda was positively identified as Tony Cruz, 39. The NCIC check further revealed that Carlos Davila was wanted as a Fugitive from Justice from the State of New York for Escape from Custody-Work Release.

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