EDITOR'S NOTE: The following police log information has been taken from public record police incident and arrest reports provided by the Johnston Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies.
Around 9:10 a.m., Oct. 18, Johnston Police Patrolman Thomas Santurri was on a fixed post at 1074 Plainfield St., when he noticed a woman he “knew from previous encounters as Nicole Fraser walking in the roadway.”
“Ms. Fraser appeared to be unsteady on her feet, and she kept bending down to pick up what appeared to be cigarettes butts from the roadway,” Santurri wrote in the arrest report.
Police spoke to Fraser to “check her wellbeing.”
They identified the woman as Nicole M. Fraser, homeless, of Cranston.
“Ms. Fraser appeared to be in good health, and stated that she was just attempting to gather cigarettes and change,” Santurri wrote.
A check through the Rhode Island Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (RILETS) revealed Fraser was wanted on two bench warrants. The firs warrant was out of Fourth District Court for failing to appear at a pretrial conference, following a DUI charge filed by Westerly Police. The second bench warrant was issued out of Providence Superior Court for failing to appear at a pretrial conference connected to a charge of Passing Counterfeit Bills filed by Cranston Police.
The warrants were confirmed and Fraser was arrested, transported back to Johnston Police Headquarters, processed and taken to the ACI Women’s Intake Facility.
Around 12:44 a.m., Oct. 15, Johnston Police Patrolman Patrick Gendreau alleges he spotted a vehicle traveling south on Killingly Street at a “high rate of speed upwards of 60 MPH.”
Gendreau attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the driver turned right onto Ruth Street, allegedly without using a turn signal, before coming to a stop.
Gendreau approached the vehicle, a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500, driven by a man later identified as Cotey M. Vasconcellos, of 80 Oregon Ave., North Providence.
While speaking with Gendreau, he noticed a “strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from his breath as he spoke to me with slurred and mumbled speech.”
Police asked Vasconcellos to consent to a series of standardized field sobriety tests. He consented.
Following the tests, Vasconcellos was arrested for “suspicion of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor and/or drugs,” Gendreau wrote in the arrest report.
His vehicle was towed from the scene. Vasconcellos allegedly refused to submit to a chemical test at the Johnston Police Department.
A DMV check revealed Vasconcellos’ driver’s license had been suspended following a prior DUI charge. He was issued Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal citations for Speeding (11+ MPH in excess of Posted Speed Limit, first offense), Operation of Vehicle When Registration is Suspended, as well as Refusal to Submit to Chemical Test.
Vasconcellos was criminally charged with DUI of Liquor (BAC unknown, second offense).
Around 10:50 a.m., Oct. 15, Johnston Patrolman Eli McGuire Krueger spotted a vehicle traveling north with window tint on all four windows and the rear windshield. He subsequently detained the vehicle near 663 Killingly St.
Police identified the driver as Richard P. Paquin, of 44 Victor Ave., Apt. 1, Johnston.
DMV files revealed Paquin’s license had expired and the vehicle registration was suspended. A check through RILETS revealed that Paquin had an active bench warrant for Attempted Larceny and Malicious Damage charges filed by Cumberland Police.
Paquin was taken into custody and transported to Johnston Police Headquarters. Police issued citations for Driving with Expired License (second offense) and Operation of Vehicle When Registration is Suspended. His vehicle was towed from the scene.
Around 3:15 p.m., Nov. 15, Johnston Police Patrolman Thomas Santurri spotted a blue Audi traveling west on Plainfield Street. Santurri “clocked the vehicle traveling 35 MPH in a 25 MPH posted zone,” according to the arrest report.
The vehicle was detained near the intersection of Plainfield Street and Maple Avenue. Santurri spoke to the driver, William Wolfe (no address provided by police), and identified a passenger as Ashley B. Brogno, of 50 Murray St., Apt. 30, Coventry.
Santurri ran checks on both and discovered Wolfe had an active arrest warrant out of the Pawtucket Police Department, for Larceny Under $1,500 and Habitual Shoplifter. He was taken into custody without incident and transported to Johnston Police Headquarters.
Wolfe was processed and later turned over to the Pawtucket Police Department. Wolfe was also issued a traffic citation for Speeding (1-10 MPH in Excess of Posted Speed Limit).
“While conducting DMV checks on Ms. Brogno it was revealed that she did not possess a valid driver’s license, therefore Precision Towing was called to the scene,” Santurri wrote in the arrest report. “I then approached the passenger’s side door of the vehicle and had Ms. Brogno step out of the vehicle so I could conduct and inventory search of the vehicle prior to it being towed.”
After she stepped from the car, police say something hit the ground.
“While Ms. Brogno exited the vehicle, I observed several loose oval shaped pills fall from her groin area onto the asphalt paving,” Santurri wrote. “I also observed a glass pipe which from my training and experience is used to smoke narcotics.”
Brogno was wearing a dress.
“I clearly observed the items fall from concealment within the dress onto the ground,” Santurri wrote. “This led me to believe Ms. Brogno had additional narcotics concealed in her groin. While the items were scattered on the ground, Ms. Brogno attempted to stomp on several of the pills as well as the glass pipe.”
The pipe broke into pieces, but the pills remained undamaged.
Police determined the pills were Buprenorphine, a narcotic analgesics under the opioid family, used to treat an opioid addiction, but requiring a prescription. Brogno was transported back to the station where Johnston Police Patrolwoman Ashley Vanbemmelen conducted a “strip search.”
Vanbemmelen said she located three more pills between Brogno’s legs and 21 pills concealed in her bra — 24 more pills total (35 including those discovered at the scene of the traffic stop).
Brogno was later charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance Schedule Five and Obstruction of an Officer in the Execution of his Duty. She was held pending arraignment.
RISP make 12 DUI arrests over holiday weekend
During the course of Thanksgiving and the holiday weekend, the Rhode Island State Police (RISP) report that 12 individuals were arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), according to a press release. Rhode Island State Troopers said they also investigated 82 motor vehicle crashes and issued 598 citations for various traffic violations.
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