West Warwick Man Sentenced for Trafficking Thousands of Fentanyl Pills

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A West Warwick man who arranged for the sale of substantial quantities of fentanyl-laced counterfeit OxyContin to an undercover member of the Rhode Island DEA Drug Task Force was sentenced today to four years in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

Richard Delsanto, 29, pleaded guilty in February to distributing 40 grams or more of fentanyl and possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl.

According to the court documents, in April and May 2021, a member of the Rhode Island DEA Drug Task Force engaged in a series of text messages with Richard Delsanto, 29, to arrange for the purchase of 1,000 counterfeit OxyContin pills known to contain fentanyl. Delsanto delivered the pills on May 4, in exchange for $5,000. Nine days later, the undercover DEA Task Force officer arranged for a second delivery. As Delsanto arrived at an agreed-upon meeting location, members of the DEA Drug Task Force stopped Delsanto’s vehicle and seized approximately 3,000 pills containing fentanyl. Additionally, 700 fentanyl additional pills were seized from Delsanto’s residence during a court-authorized search that followed his arrest.

Delsanto pleaded guilty on February 16, 2022, to distributing 40 grams or more of fentanyl and possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl. He was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Mary S. McElroy to 48 months in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of federal supervised release.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney G. Michael Seaman.

The Rhode Island DEA Drug Task Force is comprised of personnel from the DEA; United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General; Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation; Rhode Island State Police; the East Providence, Cranston, Coventry, Newport, North Kingstown, Pawtucket, Providence, South Kingstown, Warwick, West Warwick, and Woonsocket Police Departments; and Amtrak Police Department.

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