PROVIDENCE, R.I. – An ongoing investigation by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the United States Attorney’s Office has resulted in the arrest and detention of Antonio Fortes, 24, of Cranston, on federal drug trafficking and firearm charges, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of ATF.
Fortes, who was arrested on Wednesday by ATF agents following a search of his residence and the seizure of crack cocaine, heroin and a .45 caliber handgun, was ordered detained on Thursday by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond. A federal criminal complaint charges Fortes with one count each of possession with the intent to distribute heroin, possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
According to information presented to the court, it is alleged that Fortes is a member or an associate of the YNIC street gang.
According to court documents, an investigation into Fortes alleged drug trafficking activities, which included controlled purchases of crack cocaine and repeated surveillance by law enforcement, culminated with the execution of a court authorized federal search warrant at his residence on Wednesday. The search resulted in the seizure of numerous packets of heroin, crack cocaine, and a loaded .45 caliber handgun with an extended magazine containing 32 rounds of ammunition.
Possession of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute and possession of heroin with the intent to distribute are punishable by a statutory penalties of up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000; being a felon in possession of a firearm is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime is punishable by statutory penalties of a minimum of 5 years and up to life in federal prison, to be served consecutive to any other sentence imposed, and a fine of up to $250,000.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Milind M. Shah and William J. Ferland.
Law enforcement officers from the Cranston, Pawtucket and Providence Police Departments assisted in the investigation of this matter.