WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A 10-month investigation into drug trafficking in Woonsocket resulted in more than 30 arrests, city and state officials announced Monday.
Starting on Feb. 19, police and DEA agents executed arrest warrants for individuals targeted as part of “Operation Zero Tolerance.” According to police, the aim of the investigation was to end the ongoing violence stemming from the drug trade in and around the Veterans Memorial housing complex.
Over the course of the operation, federal and local investigators said they carried out more than 60 controlled purchases of heroin, crack, cocaine, and fentanyl from 35 suspects.
“The investigation led to the seizure of approximately 25 grams of heroin, five grams and fentanyl, and over 350 grams of crack cocaine and cocaine,” acting Woonsocket Police Chief Michael Lemoine said Monday.
In addition to the drugs, police also seized around $6,500 in cash.
As of Monday, 29 of the suspects have been arraigned in Providence Superior Court on various drug charges while two were charged by a federal criminal complaint and ordered held following an appearance in U.S. District Court, one juvenile was presented in Family Court, and one other suspect was arrested by Attleboro police and is awaiting extradition for indictment.
“These are not good law-abiding citizens,” added Attorney General Peter Kilmartin. ‘These are criminals who are willing to put onto the streets and in our neighborhoods and into our schools drugs that can hurt and kill people.”
Arrest warrants have been issued for two additional suspects, according to police.
Since 2014, the city of Woonsocket has seen nearly 70 overdose deaths.