3 charged after search yields heroin, firearms

Johnston Sun Rise ·

A months-long investigation on the part of Johnston Police detectives and representatives of other law enforcement agencies has led to the arrest of three men on drug and weapons charges.

Joseph M. Veras, 20, of 23 Irons Ave. in Johnston; Silvino S. Barros, 19, of 161 Adelaide Ave. in Providence; and Joseph A. Urena, 20, of 222 Early St. in Providence were arrested following the execution of a search warrant at Veras’ home on the morning of Oct. 11, Johnston Maj. Frank Levesque announced in a statement.

Each of the men is charged with counts of possession of heroin with intent to deliver, controlled substance conspiracy, and possession of a firearm while committing a crime of violence. They were ordered held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions following their Oct. 12 arraignments in Third District Court.

According to Levesque, the probe involved Johnston detectives and personnel from the East Providence Police Department, Rhode Island State Police and Drug Enforcement Agency. Plain-clothes detectives conducted surveillance of the Irons Avenue address and “observed an unusual amount of foot traffic going in and out” of the home, according to Levesque, and additionally witnesses “several hand-to-hand narcotics transactions that took place in nearby parking lots.”

Investigators obtained a search warrant for the residence, which was executed shortly before 11 a.m. on Oct. 11. Authorities uncovered and seized approximately 200 grams of heroin, a cutting agent believed to be fentanyl, an AK-47 assault rifle, a 357 Magnum, and various rounds of ammunition. According to Levesque, the drugs seized as a result of the search carry an estimated street value of $20,000.

“The Johnston Police Department is committed to keeping our neighborhoods safe,” Levesque said through the announcement. “Heroin usage is responsible for numerous drug-related deaths and overdoses across the country, and these arrests are significant for the protection of the citizens of Johnston.”