NEWPORT — Police say that two men were arrested over the weekend and charged with trafficking heroin and fentanyl.
Michael Sinquell-Gainey, 24, and David Vaz, 28, both of Springfield, Mass, were arrested and charged with possession of heroin, trafficking heroin, trafficking Fentanyl, and transportation of Fentanyl into the state
On Saturday, March 24, at approximately 1:40 a.m., an officer parked near Cumberland Farms on East Main Street began following a vehicle after observing it enter the gas station parking lot the wrong way.
Police say the officer observed as the driver, identified as Sinquell-Gainey, drive erratically for a short period of time before being stopped as he entered Interstate 91.
During an on-scene investigation, police say they noticed an odor of marijuana coming from both men.
A Border Patrol K-9 unit sniffed the area around the vehicle and identified the driver’s side and passenger side, as well as the gas cap and trunk area, as possibly suspicious.
Officers began searching the car and found several cell phones, as well as a hidden compartment that was glued shut but appeared to have items inside.
As Newport Police and Border Patrol searched the trunk, they say Sinquell-Gainey requested that they halt their search shortly after they located a layer of white powder on the inside.
Newport Police seized the car and subsequently applied for a search warrant. The warrant was issued later on Saturday, and officers conducted a thorough search.
According to police, that search yielded 40 bundles that held a total of 400 bags that contained both heroin and fentanyl.
Both men arrived at the Newport Police station at approximately 12:05 a.m. on Sunday. They were transported to the Northern State Correctional Facility.
“Fentanyl and heroin have killed thousands of Americans and are at the root of a nationwide epidemic that has had a measurable impact on our community,” Chief DiSanto said. “I’m enormously proud of the work of our officers in taking a significant amount of these deadly drugs off the streets. However, I urge residents to remain vigilant and be aware of the possibility that some of these drugs could already have made it into circulation.”
Based upon the evidence seized by Newport Police, residents who come into contact with baggies labeled “POISON” are asked to contact the department immediately.
Both men were arraigned yesterday.
Sinquell-Gainey was held on $100,000 bail, while Vaz was held without bail.