Federal authorities have shut down what they described as a "cocaine pipeline" that may have shipped more than 100 kilograms of cocaine from Puerto Rico to Rhode Island.
Five people have been charged in connection with the alleged drug ring that shipped the cocaine through the U.S. Postal Service, according to a statement Tuesday from U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island, Aaron Weisman.
The execution of federal court-authorized search warrants at four locations in Woonsocket resulted in the seizure of 16 guns, several military-style bulletproof vests, ammunition, crossbows, a kilogram of cocaine, a cocaine press, and other items used in the distribution of cocaine, authorities said.
Also Tuesday, postal service inspectors intercepted and seized three packages sent from Puerto Rico to addresses in Woonsocket that contained eight kilograms of cocaine.
The guns, many of which were loaded, included handguns, shotguns, rifles, and a modified AK-47, were found by members of law enforcement out in the open and within reach of a 6-year-old child, authorities said.
Four people are in custody and an arrest warrant has been issued for a fifth suspect.