WOONSOCKET â€“ A local man has been arrested on federal charges of distributing fentanyl and street heroin laced with the synthetic painkiller, which has been linked to a dramatic spike in fatal overdoses.
Alfredo Balestier-Sanchez, 32, of 117 Earle St., was ordered detained Wednesday after an appearance before a federal magistrate in Providence. He was arrested Tuesday, when a month-long joint investigation by the Woonsocket Police Department and the Rhode Island Drug Enforcement Agency Task Force culminated in a search of Balestier-Sanchezâ€™s apartment, said Jim Martin, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorneyâ€™s Office.
Papers filed with the court say Balestier-Sanchez â€“ known as â€śNegroâ€ť to his customers â€“ sold fentanyl or a heroin/fentanyl blend to a police informant on three occasions between Feb. 12 and Feb. 20. Investigators also seized four packets of the drug when, armed with a warrant, they searched his apartment. The drugs were hidden in a canister of deodorant.
Full story appears on page A1 of Thursday's Call.