An indictment, information, or complaint is merely an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that a Pawtucket man and an East Providence man have been charged in Providence County Superior Court with 29 counts of drug trafficking and gun-related offenses following their arrest by the Rhode Island State Police (RISP) on January 19, 2023.
On July 18, 2023, the Office of the Attorney General charged Kevon Lassiter (age 32) and Odell Lora (31) by way of criminal information, each with five counts of possession of 1oz to 1kg of a controlled substance (cocaine, fentanyl, xylazine, acetyl fentanyl, and para-fluorofentanyl), five counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (cocaine, fentanyl, xylazine, acetyl fentanyl, and para-fluorofentanyl), five counts of conspiracy to possess 1oz to 1kg of a controlled substance (cocaine, fentanyl, xylazine, acetyl fentanyl, and para-fluorofentanyl), five counts of conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver 1oz to 1kg of a controlled substance (cocaine, fentanyl, xylazine, acetyl fentanyl, and para-fluorofentanyl), and two counts of maintaining a common nuisance. Additionally, Kevon Lassiter was charged with two counts of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, two counts of possession of a large-capacity magazine, one count of possession of a stolen firearm, and one count of possession of a firearm while delivering cocaine and/or fentanyl.
As alleged in the criminal information, beginning in October 2022, the RISP High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force and the Providence District of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) began investigating the co-defendants, who they suspected to be involved in drug distribution in Rhode Island. Investigators conducted controlled purchases and surveillance to identify from where the co-defendants were distributing drugs, and then applied for and obtained search warrants for Odell Lora’s East Providence residence, a Scituate business associated with him, and Kevon Lassiter’s Pawtucket residence.
As further alleged, at approximately 10:00 a.m. on January l9, 2023, members of the HIDTA Task Force and DEA executed search warrants on both residences and the Scituate business, arresting both defendants. It is alleged investigators found and seized significant quantities of fentanyl, cocaine, and crack cocaine, as well as a stolen Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver, a Glock 22 .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun, two large capacity magazines, including a 29-round magazine containing ammunition, approximately $50,000 in cash, and other paraphernalia indicative of drug trafficking.
It is alleged that the State Forensic Chemistry lab confirmed the presence of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues, as well as cocaine and xylazine in the drugs seized from the search.
The co-defendants are scheduled for a pre-trial conference on September 19, 2023, in Providence County Superior Court.