PROVIDENCE – A federal grand jury in Providence returned a 15-count indictment charging Leoner J. Leonardo, 21, of Pawtucket, with conspiracy, trafficking heroin, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number; and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
An investigation into Leonardo’s alleged drug trafficking activities was launched by the Pawtucket Police Department as the result of citizen complaints of alleged drug trafficking in the neighborhood in which Leonardo resided.
The indictment, returned on Tuesday, is announced by Acting United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch; Pawtucket Acting Police Chief Tina Goncalves; Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New England Field Division.; and Mickey D. Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
It is alleged that on at least 10 occasions between June 2 and July 7, 2017, during an investigation into Leonardo’s alleged drug trafficking activities, an undercover law enforcement officer made purchases of between 6.5 and .67 grams of heroin from Leonardo.
On July 11, 2017, Pawtucket Police along with task force officers from the DEA and ATF executed a court authorized search of Leonardo’s residence and seized nearly 19 grams of heroin, various items used in the packaging and distribution of heroin, $113 in cash, and a loaded .25 caliber hand gun with the safety lever off and the hammer cocked back ready to use. The serial number on the firearm had been obliterated.
According to court records, Leonardo has two previous convictions in Rhode Island state court for drug offenses.
An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald R. Gendron.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
District of Rhode Island