North Smithfield man sentenced for role in trafficking 37 kilos of cocaine by U.S. mail


PROVIDENCE – A leader of a long-running drug trafficking organization that used the U.S. Postal Service to import 37 kilograms of cocaine into Rhode Island from Puerto Rico, along with a co-conspirator who prosecutors say provided addresses for mailing, and retrieved many of the packages of cocaine, have been sentenced to federal prison.

Arcadio Torres, 41, of North Smithfield, was sentenced to eight years after previously admitting to a federal judge that, as a leader of the organization, he worked with family members and co-conspirators to have parcels of cocaine regularly shipped to addresses in Rhode Island.

According to a release from the U.S. District Attorney’s office, Torres tracked many of the shipments and watched as they were delivered and retrieved by other members of the organization and coordinated with co-conspirators to store the cocaine for him. 

Also sentenced was Nelson Carvalho, 48, of Cranston, who will serve more than seven years in federal prison, after reportedly admitting to the court that he provided residential and business addresses in Rhode Island as destinations for U.S. Priority mail parcels, each containing approximately one kilogram of cocaine. Carvalho also discussed arrival dates and retrieval of the parcels with co-conspirators; retrieved the packages from locations throughout Rhode Island, including his work address; transported the cocaine to co-conspirators in Rhode Island; and performed other functions as needed to facilitate the operations of organization, according to a release.

At least eleven of the parcels were shipped to Women and Infants Hospital, where Carvalho was reportedly employed as a mail courier, addressed to names he provided. Carvalho would retrieve the packages from the hospital mail and provide them to other co-conspirators.

Torres pleaded guilty on June 30, 2022 to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. He was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mary McElroy to 96 months, to be followed by four years of federal supervised release.

Carvalho pleaded guilty on August 1, 2022 to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, and was sentenced today by McElroy to 90 months, followed by four years of federal supervised release.

Co-conspirators George Mojica, 42, and Angel Delgado, 25, of Central Falls, also faced charges for previously participation in the conspiracy, and were sentenced in May 2022 to serve seven years and five years in federal prison, respectively.

The cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise Barton.

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