Authorities say 23 people to be charged for drug dealing

December 10, 2019 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — An investigation in Providence, Rhode Island, has identified 23 people who will be charged with dealing drugs to undercover officers.

Undercover officers focused the investigation around Kennedy Plaza, an area where open-air drug dealing is common, according to Providence Police Chief Col. Hugh Clements. The drugs included fentanyl, cocaine, heroine and oxycodone. He said 12 suspects have been arrested, and 11 remain at large.

“This operation has successfully removed deadly narcotics off the streets of our City, focusing in the Kennedy Plaza area, which serves as the central transportation hub in Providence,” Clements said at a news conference Monday.


Everyone charged was identified as a drug dealer, not a user, according to Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza.

“By getting them off the streets and taking every ounce or trace of fentanyl that we can, we’re making sure more people can stay alive, and we can drive down the numbers of sorrowful overdoses,” Elorza said at a news conference.

There were 314 drug-overdose deaths last year and 230 this year between January and July, according to state Department of Health statistics as reported by the Providence Journal.