PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Providence resident previously convicted in state court on drug trafficking charges pleaded guilty in federal court today to federal drug trafficking and firearm charges and faces up to 70 years in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Jose A. Fuentes, 43, of Providence, pleaded guilty to three counts of distribution of heroin and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 4, 2014.
Appearing before U.S. District Court Judge Mary M. Lisi, Fuentes admitted to the court that on March 5, 2012, and March 16, 2012, he sold a total of more than 14 grams of heroin to an undercover ATF agent. Additionally, Fuentes admitted to the court that on October 12, 2012, he traded with an undercover ATF agent .77 grams of heroin and $100 in cash for a semi-automatic handgun. Fuentes was arrested by ATF agents immediately after he took possession of the firearm.
According to information presented to the court, Fuentes was convicted in Rhode Island state court in August 2009 of delivery of heroin, and was on probation at the time of his arrest by ATF agents.
Distribution of heroin is punishable by a statutory penalty up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000. Felon in possession of a firearm is punishable by a statutory penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Paul F. Daly, Jr., with the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland.