Sex trafficking suspect makes plea deal on cocaine charge

A court date for Valenti plea deal has not been set.
A court date for Valenti plea deal has not been set.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A Massachusetts man who was arrested in May for allegedly sex trafficking a minor has signed an agreement to enter a guilty plea on a cocaine-related charge.

According to the plea agreement, Lewis Valenti, who was the CEO of West Kingston-based Atlantic Produce, will plead guilty to buying “less than 50 grams of cocaine” from April 2015 to May 27, 2016. Valenti, who has homes in East Greenwich and Reading, Massachusetts, turned himself in on May 30.

The plea agreement does not mention the sex trafficking charges, but does state Valenti’s cocaine transactions were conducted with “A.L.” and “E.”

Kedwin Vargas and Rene Anthony Laureano, both of Boston, were arrested along with Valenti for allegedly conspiring to transport a minor across state lines for the purpose of prostitution.

After the arrest of the three men, investigators said Valenti contacted Rhode Island State Police in March to report that someone was threatening to tell his family about his sexual encounters with a 17-year-old girl.

The original criminal complaint stated Valenti had sex with the teen dozens of times, beginning in 2014 after the girl’s boyfriend posted ads on backpage.com offering her as a prostitute.

Records indicate Vargas and Laureano still face sex trafficking charges.

There are no indications in Valenti’s plea agreement about whether or not he will cooperate with investigators in the cases involving the other two men.