PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Providence man who took possession of a package containing more than a kilogram of cocaine shipped from Puerto Rico moments after it was delivered by the U.S. Postal Service to the front porch of a Providence residence was sentenced today to five years in federal prison.
Modesto Batista, 30, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., to 60 months in federal prison to be followed by four years of federal supervised release. He pleaded guilty on March 11, 2021, to possession of over 500 grams of cocaine with the intent to distribute.
According to documents filed with the court, on December 10, 2020, Batista, while under surveillance by law enforcement, was seen sitting inside of a vehicle parked near a Providence residence as the U.S. Postal Service delivered a package, which law enforcement knew to contain cocaine. Shortly after the package was left on the front porch, Batista retrieved the package and immediately drove to his residence.
Moments after Batista arrive at his home, Homeland Security Investigations agents, U.S. Postal Inspection Service agents, and detectives assigned to the Rhode Island High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, forcibly entered the building. Batista was found standing at the foot of the stairs leading to the upstairs portion of the house. The package Batista was seen removing from the front porch and transporting to his residence was found at his feet. The package contained more than 1,400 grams of cocaine.
A court-authorized search of Batista’s residence resulted in the seizure of a 9mm semi-automatic handgun and a magazine with fourteen rounds of live ammunition.
Batista’s sentence is announced by Acting United States Attorney Richard B. Myrus.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William J. Ferland.
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