2009-03-12 / Front Page

Three arrested in connection with island drug bust

By Adrienne Downing

One Jamestown woman and one North Kingstown man are facing felony drug charges, while an island man faces felony weapons charges, after their arrests this week by the Jamestown Police Department with the assistance of the Newport Police Narcotics Squad.

According to Jamestown Police Chief Thomas Tighe, the trio was arrested Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning following a month-long investigation.

John Neronha, 49, was arrested Monday and charged with two counts of distribution of a controlled substance, crack cocaine, after allegedly trying to sell the drug from his 2000 Chrysler minivan to an undercover police offi- cer, Tighe said.

Police have seized Neronha's vehicle and he was arraigned Tuesday morning in Newport District Court. He pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions, police said. His last known address was 22 Triton Drive in North Kingstown.

Neronha was previously arrested in Jamestown in September 2005 on bench warrant violation and driving on a revoked license charges, newspaper records show.

On Tuesday morning, police arrested Harmony Cabral, 28, of 169 Conanicus Ave., on two counts of distribution of a controlled substance, Vicodin. During the course of the investigation, Cabral allegedly sold the prescription pills to an undercover police officer on two separate occasions, police said. Cabral was arraigned Tuesday in Newport District Court and released on $5,000 bail, police said.

As a result of the investigation, Jamestown police obtained and executed a search warrant for Cabral's apartment on Tuesday morning. During the search, police allegedly found two weapons, a 9-mm Uzi machine gun and a .35-caliber rifle, Tighe said. The seized rifle was later identified as a stolen weapon.

Joseph Antone, 28, of 169 Conanicus Ave., was arrested as a result of the search. He has been charged with possession of cocaine, possession of Vicodin, possession of a machine gun, possession of a stolen firearm, and two counts of possession of a firearm by a person previously convicted of a violent felony, police said. Antone was on probation for a previous conviction of delivery of cocaine, which is a violent felony charge under Rhode Island law.

He was arraigned in Newport District Court on Tuesday afternoon and ordered held without bail on the probation violation, and held on $50,000 bail on the other charges, Tighe said.

The police chief said he has contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to assist with the further investigation of the possession of a stolen firearm charge. He did not release the names of the officers involved in the arrest for their protection, but said the entire operation went smoothly.

The police chief said that although drug-related arrests of this magnitude are not common-place in Jamestown, parents should talk to their children about the dangers of drug use.

"If parents or residents have any questions at all, they should not hesitate to call and talk to anyone at the Jamestown Police Department," he said.

To report suspicious activity, call the JPD 24-hours a day at 423- 1212.

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