EAST PROVIDENCE — East Providence Police detectives were at the genesis of a recent narcotics investigation, which made headlines not only for the amount of drugs seized but also because of the unique way in which the alleged suspects stored the contraband.
Providence Police recently announced the arrests of Jose Beltre and Alinson Baez-Gomez, found to be in possession at the time of narcotics with a street value of some $600,000.
The arrests created a buzz in part because the men had hidden the drugs — heroine, fentanyl and cocaine — in a compartment built inside a wall in the basement of the house at 193 Indiana Ave. where they resided.
Beltre, 44, and Baez-Gomez, 45, were each charged of possession of 1-5 kilograms of cocaine, possession of 1 oz.-1 kilogram of heroin, possession with intent to deliver heroin and cocaine, and conspiracy. The suspects were remanded to the Adult Correctional Institute.
The case was actually initiated in East Providence earlier this year. According to the report of EPPD Vice Unit Detective Sergeant Diogo Mello, his division received a tip regarding two individuals “who were distributing large quantities of narcotics” in Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts.
It was also learned by local law enforcement besides the Indiana Avenue address in Providence, there was corresponding activity taking place Evergreen Apartments in city. EPPD learned through sources about “the sale and distribution of heroin from an apartment within the complex.”
It was at that point in the case the Providence Police Intelligence and Organized Crime Bureau was contacted and joined in the effort, Det. Mello noted. Through the combined efforts of both units, Baez-Gomez and Beltre were identified as the subjects. It was also learned Beltre had been deported to his native Dominican Republic, but had re-entered the country illegally.
The investigation reached its peak on Tuesday, Nov. 21, when law enforcement officials were granted a warrant to search 193 Indiana Avenue as well as two cars known to be used by the men, a 2000 Ford and a 2006 Nissan.
Police reached the scene at approximately 4 p.m. The resulting search found nearly six kilograms of cocaine, heroin and fentanyl.
According to Det. Mello’s report, “The narcotics were concealed within a false wall in the basement of the residence.” He added, “There was shelving concealing a seam in the wall. The shelf was removed, and we had to use a crowbar to access the trap. The target later informed us that he used a magnet to activate the trap door allow him access into the compartment.”
His report continued, investigators also located “two after-market electronic hidden compartments in each of the vehicles,” which were empty.” The compartments, though they may novel, are instruments dealers often use to mask the contraband during transport.
Of note as well, Beltre was in possession of a New Jersey driver's license, identifying him as Alexander Ramos Vazquez, date of birth November 7, 1973.
In addition, during the investigation police discerned Beltre’s son lived in the Evergreen Drive Apartment complex.
Det. Mello noted, though investigators as of yet have not determined if the younger Beltre was the source of the heroin/fentanyl being distributed at Evergreen, it has been gleaned since the arrest a significant decrease in the sale of heroin within the complex.
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