PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Providence man arrested shortly after law enforcement watched him take possession of a package that contained more than a kilogram of cocaine shipped from Puerto Rico pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence to possessing more than 500 grams of cocaine with the intent to distribute.
According to court documents, Modesto Batista, 30, was sitting inside a vehicle parked near a Providence residence when a U.S. Postal Service Inspection agent made a controlled delivery of the package to the front porch of that residence. Law enforcement had become aware that the package contained a significant quantity of cocaine.
According to court documents, as Homeland Security Investigations agents, U.S. Postal Inspection Service agents, and detectives assigned to the Rhode Island High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force watched, Batista quickly removed the package from the porch and transported it to his Providence residence.
Moments after Batista went inside his residence, agents knocked on the door and announced their presence, after which they forcibly entered the residence. Batista was found standing at the foot of the stairs leading to the upstairs portion of the house. The package containing more than 1,400 grams of cocaine was found at Batista’s feet.
From inside Batista’s bedroom agents seized, among other items, a 9mm semiautomatic handgun and a magazine for the firearm loaded with fourteen rounds of live ammunition. Various items used in the delivery of cocaine were also found inside the residence.
Appearing on Thursday before U.S District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., Batista, who has been detained since his arrest on December 10, 2020, pleaded guilty to possession of over 500 grams of cocaine with the intent to distribute, announced Acting United States Attorney Richard B. Myrus, Joseph W. Cronin, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division, and Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police Colonel James M. Manni.
Batista is scheduled to be sentenced on June 3, 2021.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland.