PROVIDENCE – Appearing before a federal judge today, a Pawtucket man has admitted that he trafficked crack and powder cocaine while on federal supervised release, having completed a term of incarceration on federal gun and drug charges, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.
According to charging documents, during an ongoing drug trafficking investigation in March 2022, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents and Pawtucket Police detectives witnessed Estefano J. Lobo, 30, make a hand-to-hand crack cocaine delivery to another person. Estefano was arrested a short time later and was found to be carrying 1.35 grams of crack cocaine and $580 in cash. A court-authorized search of his residence resulted in the seizure of 98.45 grams of cocaine powder, 19.44 grams of crack cocaine, $7,652 in cash, and, among other items, tools associated with processing cocaine powder into cocaine base. Following his arrest, Lobo admitted to agents that for the previous several months he had been processing cocaine powder into crack cocaine and distributing it. At the time, Lobo was serving a four-year term of supervised release as a result of a prior conviction in the District of Rhode Island.
Estefano, detained in federal custody since his arrest on March 16, 2022, was charged by indictment with possessing cocaine base with intent to distribute and possessing cocaine with intent to distribute; he pleaded guilty today to both of those charges. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 5, 2023. Each count is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 20 years of incarceration to be followed by a life term of federal supervised. The defendant’s sentence will be determined by a federal district judge after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Milind M. Shah.