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Cranston man sentenced to serve 8.5 years in state prison for possession with the intent to distribute kilos of cocaine

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that a Cranston man was sentenced last week in Providence Superior Court to serve eight and a half years at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) for possession with the intent to distribute cocaine.

Felix Castro (age 48) pleaded nolo contendere to one count of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine.

At the hearing before Superior Court Justice Kristin E. Rodgers, the court sentenced Castro to 15 years at the ACI, with eight and a half years to serve at the ACI and the balance suspended with probation.

"This Office's drug enforcement strategy is simple: target those who distribute and profit from the distribution of dangerous drugs in our communities," said Attorney General Neronha. "For the second time this week, the court sentenced a defendant prosecuted by this Office for shipping significant amounts of cocaine - kilo weight amounts - into Rhode Island. I am grateful to the Providence Police Department for their strong work in this case."

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on February 8, 2020, Castro was caught by the Providence Police Department in possession of a package containing over 4.9 kilograms of cocaine.

On that day, the Providence Police Department stopped Castro in his vehicle after he was seen intercepting a United States Postal Service package from a home on Verndale Street in Providence.

Castro later admitted that he was paid to pick up the package and that he knew it contained narcotics. Canine officer Magno, of the Pawtucket Police Department, conducted a sniff test of the exterior of the package and indicated that it contained narcotics. After obtaining a search warrant, officers found approximately 4,959 grams of cocaine inside of the package.

"Once again, this is a great example of the long-standing and strong relationships within the law enforcement community that work cohesively to rid the streets of dangerous criminals every day," said Steven M. Paré, Providence Commissioner of Public Safety. "I thank the Office of the Rhode Island Attorney General for their diligent work on this case and I commend the officers who worked tirelessly on this investigation, which led to dismantling a drug distribution scheme that had potential to damage the lives of individuals and communities."

Special Assistant Attorney General Edward G. Mullaney and Providence Police Sergeant Brian Auclair led the investigation and prosecution of this case.

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