WESTERLY — Two neighbors along Pierce Street are facing charges after the police said an investigation determined that the two were working together to sell cocaine.
Westerly police arrested 54-year-old Kristin L. Miner, of 34 Pierce St., Apt. 1R, and 40-year-old Luis S. Hernandez-Casanova, of 32 Pierce St., Apt. 1, on drug-related charges after serving search warrants at their homes late Friday morning. Both are facing two counts of manufacturing or delivery of a controlled substance and conspiracy to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance. Hernandez-Casanova was also charged Friday with possession of a controlled substance.
Both were transferred into state custody at the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston and held over the weekend pending formal arraignment. Miner was arraigned in Fourth Division District Court on Monday and remains in custody in lieu of a $20,000 bond. Hernandez-Casanova expressed a need for an interpreter and will be formally arraigned on Tuesday, court records show.
Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said the charges and search warrants stemmed from an investigation over the past month after the department received a complaint regarding the possible sale of cocaine.
"On two occasions within the past month, the informant went to Miner's home with marked money. Miner would take the money, go next door and return with the product," Lacey said. "Detectives were outside the home and were able to witness the buys."
During the separate transactions, the police said the informant received 1.25 grams and 1.7 grams of cocaine.
Due to the nature of the purchases, Westerly police obtained a court-authorized search warrant for both homes. The warrants were served simultaneously on Friday around 11:30 a.m., the police said, in a coordinated response between the department's tactical response unit, detectives and patrol officers.
The search of Hernandez-Casanova's home led to the seizure of 28.1 grams of the anxiety medication alprazolam, more commonly known by the brand name Xanax, and 50 doses of suboxone, a prescription used for opioid use disorders and treatment of acute pain. Police also seized 3.5 grams of cocaine that was locked in a safe, as well as $1,444 in cash.
Lacey said the search also led the police to discover marked money within the safe that Hernandez-Casanova obtained through the undercover purchases.
Both were transferred into state custody at the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston following their arrest. Miner was arraigned in Fourth Division District Court on Monday and remains in custody in lieu of a $20,000 bond. Hernandez-Casanova expressed a need for an interpreter and will be formally arraigned on Tuesday, court records show. He remains in custody without bond pending arraignment.