PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Central Falls man with an extensive criminal record, including convictions for drug trafficking, assault, breaking and entering, and domestic assault, today pleaded guilty in federal court to possession with the intent to distribute more than 28 grams of a mixture containing cocaine base (crack cocaine), announced Acting United States Attorney Richard B. Myrus.
David Leite,43, was arrested by Cranston Police in September 2019, following an investigation that included surveillance of Leite’s activities, two purchases from him of crack cocaine, and the issuance of two court-authorized search warrants for his residence and one of his vehicles.
On September 24, 2019, as Cranston Police were preparing to execute a court-authorized search of Leite’s residence, detectives received information that on that day Leite would be transporting a significant quantity of narcotics to Cranston. Leite was observed leaving his home in a motor vehicle and was followed into Cranston where he was soon stopped by police.
According to information presented to the court, when officers approached Leite’s vehicle they smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, and observed multiple cell phones, and a significant amount of loose cash in the center cup holder. Leite was asked to step out of the vehicle.
A search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of a bag containing 38.1 grams of crack cocaine and a bag containing 11.45 grams of cocaine salts, hidden behind the faceplate of the vehicle’s radio. Officers also seized, among other items, $13,340 in cash and two cell phones. On the same day, law enforcement executed the court-authorized search of Leite’s residence and seized a digital scale and other items used in the packaging and distribution of narcotics and a total of $2,679 in U.S. currency.
Leite, first charged in Rhode Island state court on September 25, 2019, appeared in federal court on September 30, 2019, and was charged in this matter by way of a federal criminal complaint. He has been detained in federal custody since his initial appearance in U.S. District Court.
Leite is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., on November 30, 2021.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stacey P. Veroni.
The matter was investigated by the Cranston Police Department, Central Falls Police Department, and the Rhode Island DEA Drug Task Force.