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Date: 04-02-2024

Case Style:

United States of America v. Rafael Ferrer

Case Number:

Judge: William E. Smith

Court: The United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island

Plaintiff's Attorney: The United States Attorney’s Office for Providence

Defendant's Attorney:

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Providence, Rhode Island criminal defense lawyer represented the Defendant charged with Trafficking Fentanyl Pills and Powder.

Career Offender Sentenced to Ten Years in Federal Prison for Trafficking Fentanyl Pills and Powder Days After Leaving Prison

A 43-year-old career offender living in Providence whose adult life was described in a court filing by the government as “plagued by bad, evil, criminal, premeditated decisions,” and who most recently led a fentanyl trafficking operation that employed family members and conducted drug deals in the presence of children, was sentenced on Monday to ten years in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

Rafael Ferrer, 43, who previously used a multitude of aliases, pleaded guilty on March 14, 2023, to conspiracy to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, distribution of 40 grams or more of fentanyl, and distribution of fentanyl. He was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith to 120 months of incarceration to be followed by four years of federal supervised release.

“As Rhode Island continues to grapple with the grim toll of opioid overdoses- particularly those wrought by fentanyl, Rafael Ferrer chose to fan the flames by callously profiting from peddling lethal drugs in our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Cunha. “In the process, he put family members and innocent children at risk, to say nothing of the buyers of his deadly product. The sentence imposed should make one thing clear: we will hold those responsible for this assault on our families, our neighbors, and our communities accountable with every tool at our disposal.”

“Rafael Ferrer is a career criminal, committed to leading a family-based drug trafficking organization that peddled deadly poison onto the streets of Providence,” said Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “As he’s now learned, the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force is just as committed to getting illegal drugs off our streets and freeing our communities from the stranglehold of drug traffickers like him. There’s no doubt the Ocean State is safer with him behind bars.”

According to information presented to the court, Ferrer, convicted and incarcerated multiple times over the past two decades for committing violent assault, gun, burglary, and drug trafficking and related offenses, began trafficking fentanyl in June 2019, eight days after his most recent release from the Adult Correctional Institutions. Ferrer had just completed a term of incarceration of over eight years for possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and for a home invasion he committed. He was released in March of 2019 but reincarcerated from May 2019 through a date in June 2019.

In the case for which he was sentenced, Ferrer admitted to a federal judge to being a supplier of fentanyl in both pill and powder form. He acknowledged his role as the leader of the drug trafficking organizer in which he organized the sale of fentanyl and directed others, including family members and runners, to deliver the drugs. On 16 dates between June 19, 2019, and November 5, 2019, he arranged for the delivery of fentanyl, on three occasions delivering more than 40 grams of the drug.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stacey A. Erickson.

The matter was investigated by the FBI Rhode Island Safe Streets Task Force.

The FBI Rhode Island Safe Streets Task Force is comprised of members of the FBI, Central Falls Police Department, Woonsocket Police Department, Pawtucket Police Department, West Warwick Police Department, Cranston Police Department, and the United States Marshals Service.


Defendant was found guilty and sentenced to 120 months of incarceration to be followed by four years of federal supervised release.

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