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FBI arrest three brothers accused of leading Rhode Island drug trafficking organization

April 15, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
FBI arrest three brothers accused of leading Rhode Island drug trafficking organization FBI agents outside a Providence stash house

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ABC6 – Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

A 200-page affidavit issued by the FBI outlines a six-month probe into a drug trafficking organization in Rhode Island run by Dominican brothers, Hector, 47, Juan, 50, and 44-year-old Claudio Valdez.

On Wednesday, 16 people, all residing in Rhode Island, were taken into custody for their role in the Valdez drug trafficking organization. Some of the suspects were charged in Providence Federal Court.

The 16 suspects — which include the Valdez brothers and their purported associates — are facing charges of conspiring to distribute cocaine and heroin, along with the illegal use of communication facilities in the commission of felony controlled substance crimes.

The Valdez brothers have also been charged with “being aliens who have illegally reentered the U.S. after deportation.” The report revealed that the siblings were each deported within the past decade, ABC6 reported.

The affidavit also refers to the men as “high-level cocaine and heroin traffickers.”

The affidavit added that search warrants were carried out at residences in Woonsocket and Providence, where the brothers and some of their group members live. Searches were also executed at potential “stash houses.”

Seven of the suspects’ vehicles, which investigators believe were used to carry out drug trafficking offenses, were confiscated.

The report further notes that information was given to the FBI by federal, state and local enforcement agencies in Rhode Island, New England, and across the U.S.

The DEA, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security, Rhode Island State Police, Providence Police, Woonsocket Police, Central Falls Police, Cranston Police, and the Department of Corrections also assisted with the probe.

It was also revealed that several informants cooperated in the investigation, which stems back to August 2016.

One individual told detectives that he bought heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and crack from Hector Valdez and his associate, Tanya Croteau. The source also noted that he had known the two individuals for roughly two years and that they sold drugs throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Another source told investigators that Juan and Claudio Valdez sold heroin and cocaine together.

The affidavit revealed that investigators obtained warrants to wiretap several of the suspects’ phones and GPS systems.

The FBI held a press conference early Thursday’s morning announcing the arrest of three brothers accused of leading an international drug trafficking ring

The FBI has been “continuously conducting the investigation of the brothers and their drug trafficking organization for over six months,” the affidavit stated.

The FBI alleges that Hector Valdez has been drug dealing “at a highly sophisticated level” dating back to at least 2007.

During the probe, the FBI’s two sources carried out 32 controlled purchases and payments with the Valdez business, which totaled $43,800. These buys were for heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl, and were committed from October 2016 to April 2017.

Hector Valdez is a leader of the Valdez organization and was deported back in 2009. His criminal record involving drugs stems back to 1989.

Juan Valdez is another leader, who was deported in 2011. The FBI calls him “a high-level cocaine and heroin distributor operating in the Providence area.”

Claudio Valdez, the third head of the organization, was deported in 2013.

The affidavit states that the men and their accomplices “conspired, committed, aided, and abetted each other in committing controlled substance violations, have used telephone communication devices to commit those crimes, and some have committed immigration offenses.”

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