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Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that a Providence man was sentenced in Providence County Superior Court to serve six years at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) after pleading to trafficking fentanyl and illegally possessing a handgun equipped with a large capacity magazine following his arrest by the Providence Police Department in February 2022.

Johnny Taveras (age 27) entered a plea of nolo contendere to one count of possession with intent to deliver fentanyl, one count of possession of a firearm while possessing with intent to deliver fentanyl, one count of possession of one ounce to one kilogram of fentanyl, and one count of possession of a firearm by a person prohibited.

At a hearing on November 2, 2022, before Superior Court Justice Melissa E. Darigan, the Court sentenced the defendant to 16 years, with six years to serve at the ACI, and a 10-year suspended sentence with 16 years of probation.

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on February 2, 2022, members of the Providence Police Department seized fentanyl, drug paraphernalia, a semi-automatic handgun, and a significant amount of cash from the defendant’s residence.

In the weeks leading up to the defendant’s arrest, detectives from the Providence Police Department opened an investigation into suspected narcotics distribution by the defendant from his home on Gillen Street.

Following their investigation, on February 2, members of the Providence Police Department executed a search warrant at the defendant’s Gillen St. residence where they apprehended the defendant and seized approximately 60.4 grams of fentanyl; a Ruger 5.7mm semi-automatic handgun with a large capacity magazine containing 20 rounds, including one round in the chamber; approximately $8,800 in cash; a digital scale; cutting agent, and drug paraphernalia.

Detectives Adam Chin and Eric Cuellar of the Providence Police Department and Special Assistant Attorney General Daniel Hopkins of the Office of the Attorney General led the investigation and prosecution of the case.

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