Thirteen men and women were charged following a six-month undercover drug operation that resulted in the seizure of fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and firearms in what federal authorities are calling “Operation Bloodline”.
Eleven of the 13 suspects were arrested in raids Tuesday morning in Providence following dozens of undercover drug ‘buys’, most were recorded on video.
“We believe at least two of these drug dealers were playing Russian roulette with people’s lives, pushing pills that were disguised as the painkiller oxycodone when in actuality, the pills were fentanyl,” said Joe Bonavolanta, Special Agent-In-Charge of the FBI Boston Division.
“Fentanyl is a huge problem in Rhode Island, responsible for the overwhelming majority of all drug overdose deaths in this state last year,” said Bonavolanta.
He said that officers seized more than 600 grams of fentanyl, 610 fentanyl pills, 67 grams of crack cocaine, 102 grams of cocaine and a firearm, estimating the street value of the drugs at about $175,000.
“Federal law enforcement, again critically aided by its law enforcement partners, will do everything in its power to hold purveyors of death accountable for their malignant actions,” said Aaron Weisman, the U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island.