Rhode Island Man Convicted of Conspiracy to Import and Distribute Fentanyl
A federal jury convicted a Rhode Island man for conspiring to import and distribute fentanyl and fentanyl analogues, continuing criminal enterprise, money laundering conspiracy, and multiple obstruction offenses.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Steven Barros Pinto, 40, of Pawtucket, conspired to import kilogram-quantities of fentanyl from China and use the fentanyl to manufacture counterfeit Percocet pills. Pinto personally distributed tens of thousands of the fentanyl-laced pills. Pinto acquired the fentanyl with the assistance of co-conspirators Daniel Vivas Ceron, of Colombia, who pleaded guilty in July 2019, and Anthony Gomes, of Rhode Island, who pleaded guilty in April 2018. Pinto also engaged in a series of obstructive acts intended to silence witnesses and tamper with evidence.
Pinto was convicted of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and fentanyl analogues, conspiracy to import fentanyl and fentanyl analogues into the United States, continuing criminal enterprise, two counts of obstruction of justice, money laundering conspiracy, four counts of contempt, possession of contraband in a correctional facility, and tampering with evidence. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 14, and faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.