Boston/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 22, 2024
Providence Man Sentenced to 30 Months for Role in Southeastern Massachusetts Fentanyl Distribution NetworkSource: Unsplash/ Emiliano Bar

In an announcement that came straight from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts, a Providence man is facing a 30-month stretch in federal prison for his hand in a sprawling fentanyl distribution racket that has seeped into the veins of Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Alfredo Valdez, 45, has also been slapped with a three-year supervised release following his time behind bars, after he copped to a single count of conspiracy to distribute the potent drug fentanyl; this plea was part of a broader crackdown that took down a team of 10 indicted last August—a multi-kilogram game of hot potato with fentanyl as the scalding spud, where Valdez played a critical link in a chain that led back to kingpin Estarlin Ortiz-Alcantara, the operation's mastermind, who will face the music this July.

As detailed by the Department of Justice, it was a trove of more than 12 kilograms of fentanyl, stashed in the nooks and crannies of a Fall River stash house—ceiling panels, blenders, and even hydraulic presses became makeshift vaults for the drugs, which Valdez was caught red-handed with during a police raid back in July 2022.

This hefty sentencing marks a win for Operation OCDETF, a fancy acronym for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces that's boasting a prosecutor-led, multi-agency hustle to stamp out big-fish criminal syndicates, like the crew Valdez rolled with—and their efforts ain't small potatoes, netting conspirators one-by-one who all had a piece of the pie in this fentanyl fest.

Tagging in on this joint jam were a host of law enforcers: DEA, local police from New Bedford to West Warwick, and even Homeland Security Investigations threw their badges into the ring; and let's not forget the Massachusetts State Police or the Bristol County Sherriff’s office, proving it takes quite the squad to take down a tangle of traffickers. While the cuffs are closing on this case, the feds remind us those still waiting for their courtroom closeup are innocent until proven otherwise.