Neftali Reyes, a/k/a Popi, 32, of Providence, faces statutory penalties of up to 60 years in federal prison after pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence today to one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and two counts of distribution of heroin. In addition, Reyes has agreed to forfeit $382,227 dollars and a Rolex watch valued at $39,000 seized by the government as a result of its investigation into Reyes’ drug trafficking activities and his arrest.
Reyes’ guilty plea is announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Michael Ferguson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New England field division.
According to court documents and information presented to the court, since April, 2014, the Rhode Island DEA Drug Task Force has been conducting an investigation of a drug trafficking organization distributing heroin in Rhode Island involving the defendant, Neftali Reyes and others. To further the investigation, an undercover East Providence police officer, a member of the DEA Drug Task Force, contacted Reyes and arranged to make purchases of heroin from Reyes and his conspirators.
According to court documents, on two occasions in July 2014, the undercover East Providence police officer arranged with Reyes by telephone for the purchase of heroin. On each occasion a different “runner” met with the undercover officer at pre-determined locations in Providence and Cranston to complete the transactions. During discussions to arrange the second delivery, Reyes told the undercover officer arrangements for the sale and delivery of heroin to him was being slowed because his runners were “backed up.”
On August 25, 2014, law enforcement executed a court authorized arrest warrant issued for Reyes, arresting him as he left his residence and entered a parking garage. As Reyes was arrested, he dropped a shoebox containing $37,000 in cash, a cell phone and an iPad. A court authorized search of Reyes’ residence on the same day resulted in the seizure of $339,477 in cash from a safe, as well as additional cash and a men’s Rolex Oyster watch valued at $39,000 from the apartment.
According to court documents, Reyes admitted that the cash and the Rolex watch seized were the result of proceeds from the sale of heroin. Reyes agreed that he was selling heroin for $130 per gram and that the proceeds represent the sale of approximately 2,940 grams of heroin.
Reyes, who has been detained since his arrest, is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., on February 3, 2015. Conspiracy to distribute heroin and distribution of heroin are punishable by statutory penalties of 20 years imprisonment, a fine of $1,000,000 and a term of supervised release of life with a minimum of three years.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela E. Chin.
United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha acknowledges and thanks the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General and the East Providence Police Department for their assistance in the investigation of this matter.