Federal Agents Raid Providence Car Dealership

Drug Enforcement Administration agents Tuesday raided a Providence used car dealership and arrested two men on money laundering charges.

Agents arrested Domingo A. Lopez, 49, president of Espaillat Motors Inc., his 22-year-old son Derlyn Lopez, both of Warwick.

They also seized 17 vehicles and will move in federal court for the forfeiture of the vehicles and the business's assets.

Agents said Tuesday's arrests and seizures culminate a year-long investigation by the DEA and the DEA Taskforce.

Domingo A. Lopez, 49, and his son Derlyn Lopez, 22, of Warwick, made initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Providence Tuesday afternoon before Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond on Complaints charging each with two counts of money laundering. The defendants were ordered detained.

According to an Affidavit on file with the Court, Domingo and Derlyn Lopez sold vehicles to a person who represented himself to be a drug dealer.

The affidavit said the men installed a hidden compartment in one of the vehicles – a hidden compartment that the buyer indicated he wanted to help with drug dealing.

The men are also accused of listing the vehicle prices as under $10,000 when more than $10,000 in cash was paid for each car and disguised or concealed the true identity of the buyer on paperwork associated with the sale of each vehicle.

The matter investigation involved the DEA and members of the DEA Taskforce with help from the US Marshals Service, IRS, ICE, Rhode Island State Police and Providence Police.