PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After a three-week investigation, Providence Police arrested two men they say were preparing cocaine to sell, and were in possession of a sawed-off shotgun.
An informant told police detectives Christopher Tejada, 20, had been living in his Jeep Cherokee parked next to 48 Gladstone Street, according to a Providence police report. From this spot, detectives saw Tejada make numerous drug deals, and also journey between his own car and a green Ford pickup. The informant also said Tejada kept a sawed-off shotgun and 9mm handgun nearby.
After getting a search warrant, detectives went to the site about 2:30 p.m. Monday, identified themselves and took Tejada and Odalis Pizarro, 23, into custody.
Pizarro had been working on the pickup. The hood was up and the driver’s side door was open. “In plain view,” said the officer’s report, “detectives observed a white shopping bag containing bagging material, a metal fork with suspected cocaine residue, one digital scale and a blue ceramic cup with suspected cocaine residue in it on the driver’s seat.”
The sawed-off shotgun was believed to be in the pickup. The tip was correct, with officers finding shotgun shells in the driver’s side door and the weapon, a Harrington and Richardson 12-gauge, under the driver’s seat. A round was in the chamber, and the serial number had been obliterated. The 9mm handgun the informant had reported was not found.
Officers asked Pizarro who the truck belonged to; he said it was his. He later told them the shotgun was his, too, but he’d found it while collecting scrap metal.
The detectives also found paperwork featuring Tejada’s name in the pickup, and said he admitted to them he had access to the truck (where the drug evidence was found). However, Tejada claimed he only dealt in marijuana; he’d used the bagging material and sometimes the scale to package his marijuana for sale.
The fork and the cup both tested positive for cocaine in preliminary swab tests; they were sent to a state toxicology lab for further analysis. The shotgun and other materials were also seized; police returned a cell phone to Pizarro. Tejada’s Jeep was towed to the police department, but a search turned up nothing.
Both Tejada and Pizarro are charged with possession with intent to deliver cocaine, possession of a sawed-off shotgun, possession of a firearm while committing a crime of violence, possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, and conspiracy.