PROVIDENCE, R.I.(FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – A California man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Monday to federal drug trafficking charges in connection with the seizure of 65 kilos of cocaine and more than $1.2 million in cash in North Kingstown in January 2011, the largest cocaine seizure ever in Rhode Island.
Andrew Rios appeared before a judge in Providence and pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and one count of possessing with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.
The 41-year-old signed a plea agreement which recommends a prison sentence of 204 months in federal prison. Rios is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 11, 2013.
His co-defendants, 33-year-old Rodrigo Armando Saucedo, of California, and 31-year-old Adilson Antonio Reyes, of Utah, previously pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
In September 2010, federal, state and local law enforcement agents, working in conjunction with the Rhode Island Attorney General's office, developed information about the trafficking of cocaine from outside Rhode Island into the state.
Authorities began to monitor activity at hotels in West Greenwich and Pawtucket, several vehicles, and a storage facility in North Kingstown.
In January 2011, the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office secured search warrants which law enforcement agents executed at a storage facility in North Kingstown and two vehicles.
From the facility and the vehicles, agents seized 65 kilos of cocaine, $1.2 million in cash and a firearm.
PHOTO CREDIT: Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ken_mayer/)