standing Westerly police 2

WESTERLY — Two residents of the Roger Williams Inn are facing charges after the police said an investigation into reported drug sales led to the couple selling fentanyl to an undercover informant in October and November.

Roelle J. Rios, 24, and Ava M. Menard, 23, both of 59 Granite St., Apt. 5, were charged Thursday with delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit delivery of a controlled substance. Rios, who the police said had sold to the informant twice, is also facing a second count of delivery of a controlled substance.

Both Rios and Menard were arraigned the same day in Fourth Division District Court and ordered held without bond. They remain in custody at the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston, court records show.

A Westerly police report said the two were taken into custody after a several-week investigation into the reported sale of fentanyl by Rios. After receiving information, the police said detectives worked with an undercover informant and set up three separate transactions, each for a personal use amount of fentanyl.

The police said on separate occasions in October and November, the informant purchased 0.5 grams of fentanyl from Rios while officers watched the exchange. During the third sale, which again involved 0.5 grams and took place in November, Menard delivered the narcotics instead of Rios.

The police said Menard was Rios' live-in girlfriend at the time of the exchange.

Based on the investigation, Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said the department obtained search and arrest warrants. Several officers conducted a search of their apartment at the Roger Williams Inn on Thursday, he said, but the search recovered only a small amount of cash and a personal-use amount of marijuana. No additional charges were filed.

Rios, who was wanted on a bench warrant in Richmond for failing to appear in court on a July charge of obstructing an officer, was also presented as a bail violator and arraigned for that charge during his initial court appearance, records show.

Neither Rios nor Menard entered a plea during their initial court appearance. Both were scheduled to return to court on Wednesday.

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