Richard Delsanto Guilty
West Warwick Man Admits to Trafficking Thousands of Fentanyl Pills
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A West Warwick man who arranged to sell thousands of counterfeit OxyContin pills containing fentanyl to an undercover member of the Rhode Island DEA Drug Task Force pleaded guilty in federal court today to fentanyl trafficking charges, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.
Richard Delsanto, 28, pleaded guilty to distributing 40 grams or more of fentanyl and possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl.
According to charging documents, in April and May 2021, an undercover Newport Police Department detective assigned to the DEA Drug Task Force engaged in a series of text messages with Delsanto to arrange for the purchase of 1,000 counterfeit OxyContin pills known to contain fentanyl. Delsanto delivered the pills on May 4, in exchange for $5,000. Nine days later, the undercover detective arranged for a second delivery of pills from Delsanto. As Delsanto arrived at an agreed-upon meeting location, members of the DEA Drug Task Force stopped Delsanto’s vehicle and seized approximately 3,000 pills containing fentanyl. An additional 700 fentanyl pills were seized from Delsanto’s residence during a court-authorized search.
Delsanto is scheduled to be sentenced on May 16, 2022.
Distributing 40 grams or more of fentanyl is punishable by statutory penalties of 40 years in federal prison, with a mandatory minimum 5 years of imprisonment, and a term of federal supervised release of 4 years. Possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl is punishable by statutory penalties of up to life in prison, with a mandatory minimum term of 10 years of imprisonment, and a term of 5 years of federal supervised release. The defendant’s sentence will be determined by a federal district judge after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney G. Michael Seaman.