WOONSOCKET – A State Police task force arrested a city man on Wednesday after completing an undercover investigation into his alleged involvement in a heroin distribution operation.
Giovanni Morales Nieves, 22, of Cottage Street, was taken into custody after members of the State Police High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force executed a search warrant at his home, according to Col. Steven G. O’Donnell, superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.
The arrest followed an investigation that began during the month of November based on information provided by the Franklin, Mass., Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security/Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according O’Donnell.
The agencies had developed information on a Woonsocket man’s alleged involvement in a heroin distribution operation in the city, and several purchases of heroin were allegedly made from the suspect.
The investigation resulted in the search warrants issued by Judge Elaine T. Bucci of the Sixth District Court that were executed at Nieves’ Cottage Street residence Wednesday, according to O’Donnell.
During the search, which was conducted with the assistance of the Woonsocket Police Department, Nieves was found in possession of three small bags of heroin, O’Donnell said.
The search also netted roughly 93 grams of heroin inside the residence along with scales, packaging material and additional drug distribution paraphernalia, O’Donnell said.
State Police charged Nieves with delivery of heroin to a police officer; two counts of possession of heroin 1 ounce to 1 kilogram; and possession of heroin with intent to distribute. He was arraigned in Sixth Division District Court before Judge Walter Gorman, and ordered held without bail. He was sent to the ACI pending a bail hearing Jan. 24.
O’Donnell said the HIDTA Task Force is made up of members of the R.I. State Police, in conjunction with police departments from Johnston, Pawtucket, Providence, North Kingstown, North Providence and Smithfield, as well as agents and representatives from the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Homeland Security Investigations/Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the R.I. National Guard Counterdrug Program.