Police: Providence man sold cocaine on Craigslist

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence police say a city man sold an eight ball of cocaine to an undercover cop in a deal that was arranged on Craigslist.

Mark Persaud, 25, was arrested on drug charges Friday evening after he agreed meet a buyer inside of a McDonald’s on Branch Avenue, according to an incident report. Police say he sent another man, 22-year-old James Gaddis, into the fast-food restaurant to make the exchange.

According to the report, police were investigating the sale of narcotics on Craigslist for several months and contacted Persaud through text message on Oct. 13. A day later, Persaud agreed through text message to sell three-and-half grams of cocaine – known as an eight ball – for $250.

Persaud instructed Gaddis to enter the McDonald’s and find a man wearing a blue hat and green shirt to make the transaction. After the money was exchanged, police moved in. Persaud was apprehended while sitting in his Mercedes outside the restaurant.

In addition to being in possession of $1,788 in cash, Persaud agreed to allow police to search his home on Prairie Avenue. Detective say a registered handgun and more cocaine were recovered.

Persaud admitted to police that he has sold drugs on Craigslist three times in the past. He told a detective that he used an app on his phone that disguised the true identification of his phone number.

In a separate statement to police, Gaddis said he met Persaud while working as a door-to-door salesman. He said Persaud asked him to exchange the cocaine as a favor.