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WOONSOCKET â€” A city resident has been ordered held on federal charges stemming from his alleged involvement in a large-scale heroin-trafficking operation.
Andres Jiminez, 37, of 121 Linden Ave., made an initial appearance Tuesday in U.S. District Court, Providence, after investigators seized more than seven kilos of heroin, a kilo of cocaine and $30,000 in cash from a commercial storage facility in Pawtucket over the weekend.
U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha said Jiminez was arrested as he tried to check into a motel near T.F. Green Airport in Warwick Sunday after federal narcotics agents attempted to serve a search warrant at his Woonsocket home a day earlier.
The trail led to Jiminez as investigators were focusing on another player in the alleged trafficking operation based out of the New Haven, Conn., area, Neronha said.
That individual became concerned that law enforcement was monitoring his activities and decided to relocate his drug operation. Investigators tailed that individual as he drove to Rhode Island early Friday morning, eventually following him to a commercial storage facility known as Webster Place, located at 133 Webster Ave. in Pawtucket. Records indicate the storage unit was rented by Jiminez.
While federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents staked out the storage facility, others followed the Connecticut target and another man as they drove to Chelsea, Mass., and then to Connecticut, making several stops along the way, said Neronha. Their vehicle was stopped in Union, Conn., by Connecticut State Police.
The men, whom Neronha did not identify, were arrested after troopers discovered approximately one kilo of heroin in the vehicle.
On Friday night, DEA agents executed a search warrant at the Pawtucket facility, where they seized more than seven kilograms of heroin â€” about 16 pounds of heroin â€” plus a kilo or cocaine and $30,000 in cash.
The investigators also seized what was described as an â€śindustrial money counting machineâ€ť and other items used in narcotics trafficking.
â€śThey also found a lot of wrapping materials that had previously held narcotics as well as shipping materials and cutting agents,â€ť said Jim Martin, a spokesman for Neronha's office. â€śThere were clearly items items used in a large scale drug-trafficking operation.â€ť
On Saturday, DEA agents executed a warrant to search Jiminez's Woonsocket residence, off Diamond Hill Road. He was located on Sunday as he attempted to check into a hotel near the state airport. Jiminez remains held at the Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls pending indictment, which must come within 30 days under federal statute.