The Police Log is a digest of reports provided by the Johnston, Rhode Island State Police, and other departments.
Just prior to deadline for publication of the Johnston Sun Rise on Wednesday, the Johnston Police Department issued a press release indicating that there had been another large scale marijuana operation uncovered in town.
On August 29 at approximately 8:00 p.m., members of the Johnston Police executed a search warrant at 90 Allendale Avenue. The JPD had received confidential information from a reliable source that a large scale illegal marijuana growing and distribution operation was taking place on the premises.
Seized at the conclusion of the search warrant were numerous mature and immature marijuana plants. Also confiscated was processed and packaged marijuana that was ready for street distribution. In total the seizure had a combined street value estimated to be over $40,000.00 dollars.
The property is leased by Shane Smith, 27, with a last known address of 117 6th Street in Providence. Police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating him at this time. Those with additional information may contact 401-231-4210.
On August 15 at approximately 5:35 p.m. Warwick Police Officers Walter Larson and Thomas Duncan were dispatched to the intersection of East Avenue and Bald Hill Road in Warwick for an emergency call. While en route, dispatch relayed that there were two male subjects slumped over in the cab of a red Chevrolet S10 pickup. It was reported that the subjects appeared to be passing out after turning onto East Avenue.
The caller stated that the truck stopped in the middle of the road but then started moving again. At 5:38 p.m. another call came in stating that the vehicle had stopped prior to the entrance of CCRI, and that both driver and passenger were passed out.
Officers then arrived on scene and found the car stalled in the travel lane still in first gear. Officers applied the parking brake and turned the keys into the off position. They observed the driver, identified as Richard Ferruccio, 23, of 597 Greenville Avenue in Johnston, passed out behind the wheel. He was slumped slightly to the right with his body over the arm rest and his head in his passenger’s lap.
According to the police account, it appeared to the officers that both parties had passed out due to opiods. Both men had very slow and labored breathing. They were gurgling, pale, and their lips were turning blue. Ferruccio had blood coming from the area below his right elbow, where a suspected injection site was. In between the passenger’s legs was a plastic spoon with what officers believed contained heroin.
Officers then administered Narcan to Ferruccio and his passenger. Shortly after, two rescue crews arrived on scene. Ferruccio eventually came to after receiving a total of eight doses of Narcan. He was then placed in a rescue.
Officer Larson then approached Ferruccio in the rescue. Ferruccio had vomited all over himself in the rear of the rescue, and had urinated on himself once he came to. He was read his rights and then transported to Kent Hospital. Ferruccio stated that he was attempting to get to the hospital for his passenger friend, who he believed had overdosed. His car was towed from the scene.
At the hospital Ferruccio was again read his rights, made two confidential phone calls and then refused to take a chemical test. He was charged with driving under the influence, refusal to submit to a chemical test, driving on an expired license, no insurance, and stopping on a travel portion of an open highway. He was then released from police custody after he signed all paperwork.
Sergeant Megan Boulet and Offcier Ryan Lemieux responded to Kimble Avenue on August 20 around 3 p.m. in reference to a verbal argument. At the scene they spoke with the reporting party, who advised that he was renting the second floor of the residence, and was in the process of moving out. Officers observed a U-Haul truck in the driveway as well as multiple packed items in the residence.
The complainant said he was in the garage of the residence when Vito Sczerbinski, 71, of 8 Kimball Avenue in Johnston, came home. The reporting party stated that Sczerbinski yelled at him to “Get your (expletive) away from the walking area.” He then told Sczerbinski he would move the items in a few minutes and to go into the house. The resident then told the officers that Sczerbinski walked to the garage, grabbed a sledgehammer and said “Move your (expletive) or I’ll smash your head in and kill you.” He went on to say that Sczerbinski raised the sledgehammer above his head and took a swing but stopped halfway through.
The complainant then retreated to a safer location and called the police while Sczerbinski went inside. Sczerbinski emerged a few minutes later, got into his truck and then sped off, according to the account. A witness to the altercation confirmed the complainant’s story. An all points bulletin was entered into the police system for Sczerbinski.
On August 21 at 1:12 p.m., Sczerbinski responded to Johnston Police Department headquarters to turn himself in for his active warrant. He was then transported to the Third District Court and arraigned before Judge Bucci on felony charges for two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. Surety bail was set at $5,000 and a no contact order was issued for the victim as a condition of bail.
On August 25 at approximately 10:55 a.m. Officer Remy Mendez was on a fixed traffic post in the area of 150 Putnam Avenue when he observed a driver travelling east who was not wearing her seat belt. A registry check of the vehicle revealed that the license plate did not belong to the vehicle they were attached to. The car was then stopped in the area of 102 Putnam Avenue.
As the officer turned on his emergency lights and siren to initiate a traffic stop, he observed the operator, later identified as Suhail Montes Oquendo, 26, of 70 Elmdale Avenue in Providence, making movements towards the back seat of the vehicle. A background check on the vehicle’s passenger also revealed that he had an extensive criminal history, including a charge pf first degree robbery with a firearm.
Located directly behind Montes Oquendo was a woman’s purse, which appeared to be the item she was reaching for. The officer then directed both occupants to exit the vehicle, at which time Montes Oquendo immediately reached for her purse before the officer instructed her not to. Both occupants then exited the car.
Upon searching the purse the officer located a loaded .22 caliber revolver pistol wrapped in a Dunkin Donuts wrapper. Officer Michal Protano, who had arrived on scene for back up, placed Montes Oquendo in hand restraints while she was read her rights. Montes Oquendo admitted that the firearm belonged to her and that she kept it for her protection as she feared her children’s father, according to the report. The firearm was seized and later turned over to detectives.
The passenger was released from the scene, the vehicle was towed and its plates seized. Montes Oquendo was transported to police headquarters, where she was again read her rights. She was issued a summons for operating an unregistered vehicle and improper use of registration, then transported to the Third District Court where she was arraigned on felony charges for a license/permit required for carrying a pistol, with $10,000 personal recognizance bail set.