7 indicted in California to Rhode Island drug pipeline

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say seven people have been indicted for their alleged roles in a conspiracy to ship drugs from California to Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Rhode Island says more than 200 packages containing ‘‘significant quantities’’ of heroin and cocaine were shipped from the Los Angeles area to dozens of rented commercial mailboxes in greater Providence and southeastern Massachusetts. The mailboxes were rented by people using fraudulent driver’s licenses.

“Investigators determined that members of the conspiracy allegedly shipped at least 219 packages containing large quantities of cocaine or heroin, including packages containing 383 grams of heroin and 560 grams of cocaine seized by law enforcement, to commercial mailboxes in Southern New England,’’ the US Attorney’s office said in a statement. “At least 107 packages containing large amounts of cash for payment for the drugs were mailed to the Los Angeles area.”


An indictment unsealed Thursday in Providence charges two individuals from Los Angeles and five individuals from Providence, the statement said.

“The mailboxes were allegedly rented by Valerie G. Gamboa, 26, Marion V. Gamboa, 25, and Giselle S. Polanco, 21, of Providence, using fraudulent driver’s licenses,’’ the statement said. “According to court documents, the packages were allegedly retrieved from the mailboxes by Joel P. Sennon, 41, and Shawn A. Silva, 37, of Providence, Polanco, and others.’’

Prosecutors say many of the mailings and the retrieval of packages were captured on video surveillance.