Investigation Reveals Extensive Drug Dealing at East Greenwich Farms
Along with selling synthetic drugs with names like Crazy Monkey and K-2, police say the owner of East Greenwich Farms, now being held without bail at the ACI, sold amphetamines to a select list of customers.
They are all illegal narcotics, most synthetic cannabinoids, and along with milk, eggs and a pack of cigarettes, they were just a few of the products being sold out of East Greenwich Farms on Main Street for months. And East Greenwich Police bought them repeatedly during an investigation that began more than six months ago and included anonymous tips, surveillance and ultimately, the arrest of owner Rakeshkumar R. Patel, 40, of 37 Anne Holst Court, Warwick last month on charges of selling Schedule I narcotics after a raid at the store.
As Patel remains held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston pending a July 10 date in Third Division District Court, police have released extensive details of their months-long investigation and it shows that Patel allegedly maintained a steady flow of drug sales to select customers who knew to ask for "one" or "a bag."
The cashier would then get a small baggie kept in a manilla envelope kept under the counter. Usually, the drugs were synthetic cannabinoids with street names like Crazy Monkey and Bizarro, weighing anywhere from 3.5 to 6 grams and each tested positive for the presence of XLR11, an illicit controlled substance.
The first controlled purchases began in February with an informant who brought back the drugs to police after asking the clerk for a bag and paying for it with police supplied funds.
In March, police learned that Rakeshkumar allegedly had amphetamines available for purchase and police were able to buy five pills for $40. The pills, labeled amphetamine salts ER25, were brought to the state Department of Health for analysis.
Police arranged for an undercover Newport officer to make a buy on May 19 and again, police were able to procure synthetic cannabinoids, and like the prior buys with the informant, police said the money was put in the cash register and Patel made change from the register.
Ten days later, a Newport officer went into the store again and asked Patel for a bag. Patel then said he was "all out" and "only buys 50 bags at a time" and hinted he might have some the next day. The agent then asked if Patel had any marijuana, to which Patel reportedly said "impossible."
Patel reportedly got spooked and followed the undercover officer out the store and along Main Street, "hurriedly" exiting the store and getting into his car to watch and follow the agent for a time before parking in front of his shop and sitting in it for a few minutes before finally going back into the store.
Police decided to dial back their undercover buys, recognizing that Patel might be catching on to the investigation. But Patel apparently didn't stop selling drugs. About a month after the incident with the Newport officer, Patel allegedly sold two bags to a person who took a taxi to the store, telling a friend upon leaving the store "I got the last two bags," according to a report.
Two days later, police got an anonymous call from a person who said the store is selling synthetic drugs, including to a friend who is one of Patel's "select customers."
Police got an arrest warrant on June 17 and executed a raid on June 18.
Patel, who was at the store, was taken into custody and told police upon his arrest that he bought the drugs using money from the register and that the only money kept separate were lottery and Western Union funds. Everything else was co-mingled, including the cash register and ATM.
Police seized $54,807 in currency during the raid, which was executed by East Greenwich detectives with help from Newport officers and a tax investigator from the state Department of Revenue Division of Taxation.
One of the Newport officers at the scene was the one that Patel followed on Main Street as he became suspicious of the investigation.
During the interview, Patel was asked if he remembered the officer.
"He indicated that he did," a police report stated. "He further stated that he had suspicions that [the officer] was a police officer. It was around that time that he stopped selling synthetic drugs."
Police did not locate any drugs during the raid.