Cranston Crack Dealer Pleads Guilty

A Cranston man has pleaded guilty to possession of crack cocaine after being busted last year. ABC6 has more from the U.S. Department of Justice…

Providence, R.I. – A Cranston man arrested when police found him with 180 grams of crack cocaine pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to possession of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute. Daniel Waite, 23, was arrested in April 2009, after a search of his apartment turned up crack cocaine and drug dealing paraphernalia. The drugs had a street value of more than $6,300.

Waite's guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha, which was entered before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi.

At the defendant's change of plea hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie S. Browne told the court, had the matter proceeded to trial, the government would have presented evidence that Cranston Police developed information that Waite was selling cocaine powder and crack cocaine, and obtained a search warrant for his apartment. Police had to force their way inside the apartment after their knocks on the door were ignored.

When police entered the sparsely furnished apartment, they found Waite lying on a mattress. When officers removed the defendant from the mattress they discovered two baggies with crack cocaine under him. They also located twelve bags of crack cocaine, known as “eight balls,” in a pocket of Waite's jeans which were on the floor. The search turned up approximately 180 grams of crack cocaine, a scale and plastic bags used to package the crack cocaine for sale.

Waite was indicted by a federal grand jury in June 2009 on one count of possession of more than 50 grams of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute. He had entered a not guilty plea in U.S. District Court in December 2009. Waite has been detained since his arrest.

Waite is scheduled to be sentenced on October 21. He faces a sentence of 10 years to life imprisonment, with a minimum mandatory of 10 years in federal prison; 5 years supervised release; and a $4,000,000 fine.

The matter was investigated by Cranston Police, with the assistance of East Providence Police, DEA and ATF.