By HERALD STAFF Four people have been charged following an investigation into a local crystal meth trafficking operation, the office of U.S. Attorney Aaron L. Weisman announced last week. Authorities allege that through the illicit arrangement, crystal
Four people have been charged following an investigation into a local crystal meth trafficking operation, the office of U.S. Attorney Aaron L. Weisman announced last week.
Authorities allege that through the illicit arrangement, crystal meth was “routinely” shipped into Providence from out of state. It was then stored and distributed from a Warwick motel, along with residences and a storage unit in Providence.
Three people – Steven Robinson, 47, and Alexa Samoiloff, 50, both of Providence, and Jacob Abbruzzese, 46, of Cranston – were arrested in October and each charged with conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and distribution of five grams or more of the drug. All three were ordered detained following initial appearances in U.S. District Court.
The fourth person allegedly involved in the operation, 31-year-old Sean M. Francis of Providence, was arrested Nov. 7 and ordered to be detained after a court appearance. He is charged with possession of more than 50 grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.
According to the U.S. attorney’s office, Francis was the central figure in the drug scheme. He is alleged to have received at least 11 packages of crystal meth through overnight packages starting as late as August of this year.
Robinson and Samoiloff, in turn, are alleged to have sold the crystal meth to others – including Abbruzzese, who is also alleged to have sold the drug.
“During the course of the investigation, at least nine alleged drug transactions of between 8 grams and 49.4 grams for between $200 and $1,400 were monitored by law enforcement,” a statement from Weisman’s office reads. “The crystal meth was immediately seized by law enforcement following each monitored transaction.”
On Oct. 18, authorities executed search warrants at the Providence residence of Robinson and Samoiloff, as well as at a Providence storage unit rented by Abbruzzese. The search uncovered 41.4 grams of crystal meth, along with 109 rounds of 9mm ammunition, a number of edged weapons, a crossbow and materials used in the packaging and distribution of methamphetamine.
A search of Francis’ residence on Nov. 7 uncovered 66.3 grams of crystal meth, three firearms and ammunition, multiple cell phones and items used in drug distribution, authorities say.
The investigation – part of Project Safe Neighborhoods – was conducted jointly by the FBI Safe Streets Gang Task Force, the Rhode Island State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force and the Warwick Police Department. Providence Police also provided assistance.