FBI arrest 15 in RI for international drug ring

By: News Staff

Email: news@abc6.com

Twitter: @ABC6

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The FBI held a press conference early Thursdays morning saying that the three brothers from the Dominican Republic were the brains behind a multi-million dollar drug operation.

At a full house at the US Attorney’s Office in Providence, Acting US Attorney Stephen Damruch addressed the 200-page affidavit that outlined a recent undercover drug investigation called “Operation Triple Play.”

The FBI arrested 15 people, nine of which were illegal immigrants, for their role in a massive international drug ring.

The Valdez brothers, Juan Hector and Claudio, were leading the operation selling large amounts of opiates in Providence, Boston, and Hartford that was smuggled over the border from Mexico.

FBI and DEA agents seized 4 kilos of heroin, 1.2 kilos of fentanyl, 2 kilos of cocaine, and $95,000 in cash from 8 different houses in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

The estimated street value of those drugs is over $680,000 dollars.

One of the more disturbing discoveries is the high quantity of fentanyl, an opiate 100 times more powerful than heroin.

These arrests in this case are the result of an eight month investigation.

All three brothers have multiple drug convictions on their records and have been deported before. If convicted, they will each serve a minimum sentence of 20 years up to life and would then face deportation back to the Dominican Republic.

©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2017