PROVIDENCE – A Warwick man who allegedly took on several identities has been arrested by members of the Rhode Island DEA Drug Task Force and ordered detained in federal custody on charges of being an armed drug trafficker, after law enforcement executed court-authorized searches of his residence and two vehicles he regularly used and seized a kilogram of heroin, a loaded firearm, ammunition, and more than $200,000 in cash.
Luis Cortes, 48, a/k/a Danny Vasquez, a/k/a Alberto Diaz, a/k/a John Doe, was stopped and arrested by DEA Drug Task Force agents on Wednesday as he drove away from his residence. Prior to executing a court-authorized search of the vehicle Cortes was driving, a Warwick Police Department certified narcotics detection canine alerted to the presence of narcotics odors at the vehicle. The vehicle was allegedly found to contain after-market hides commonly used to conceal contraband behind the front passenger seat and in a child safety seat. No drugs were located inside the vehicle.
Simultaneous to the traffic stop and the search of Cortes’s vehicle, a court-authorized search of Cortes’s residence was undertaken by members of the Rhode Island DEA Drug Task Force, where they allegedly discovered and seized a kilogram of heroin from a first floor closet; a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol with two magazines and between $200,000 and $250,000 in cash from a concealed compartment in the master bathroom which connected to the bedroom; and three kilo presses and various items used in the packaging and distribution of narcotics located in various locations in the residence.
Cortes’s girlfriend and two young children who live with Cortes were present in the residence when law enforcement arrived at the home.
During the traffic stop, the defendant maintained to law enforcement that his true identity is Luis Cortes. The FBI confirmed that the person arrested and fingerprinted was known as both Danny Vasquez and Alberto Diaz. Further review of records by members of the DEA Drug Task Force determined that Danny Vasquez was born in the Dominican Republic.
Luis Cortes, a/k/a Danny Vasquez, a/k/a Alberto Diaz, a/k/a John Doe appeared today before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond and was ordered detained on a federal criminal complaint charging him with possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.
Cortes’s arrest and initial appearance are announced by United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman and Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New England Field Division Brian D. Boyle.
A federal criminal complaint is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul F. Daly, Jr.
The Rhode Island DEA Drug Task Force is comprised of personnel from the DEA and Providence, East Providence, Central Falls, Coventry, North Kingstown, Woonsocket, Cranston, Pawtucket, Newport, South Kingstown, Warwick, and West Warwick Police Departments, Rhode Island State Police, and Amtrak Police Department.