NARRAGANSETT – An ongoing investigation into the alleged trafficking of crack cocaine in South Kingstown and Narragansett resulted in the arrest of a Narragansett couple Thursday.
South Kingstown Police, Narragansett Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Rhode Island State Police and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested Damon Graham, 33, and Ashley Sekator-Graham, 30, and the seized crack cocaine, cocaine powder and two firearms, from the couple’s Narragansett residence.
Graham was ordered detained by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond following his initial appearance in U.S. District Court Thursday on a criminal complaint charging him with one count each of conspiracy to distribute cocaine base, conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Sekator-Graham was released to home confinement with electronic monitoring following an initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond on Thursday on a criminal complaint charging her with one count each of conspiracy to distribute cocaine base and conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base.
According to an affidavit in support of the criminal complaints filed with the court, an investigation by South Kingstown Police, Narragansett Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) into the alleged drug trafficking activities of the couple in South Kingstown included electronically monitored drug sales and the execution of a court authorized search of the couple’s home at 77 Congdon St. in Narragansett. According to the affidavit, the search of the couple’s home resulted in the seizure of nearly 130 grams of crack cocaine, a 9 mm handgun and ammunition, and more than $3,700 in cash.
In addition, a court-authorized search of a storage unit in Narragansett resulted in the seizure of approximately seven ounces of cocaine powder and a .38 caliber handgun and ammunition.
According to the affidavit of David Verity, DEA task force officer, he and South Kingstown Police have been investigating the Grahams for the illegal trafficking of controlled substances in South Kingstown and Narragansett.
Verity wrote that as pat of the investigation, a cooperating witness was utilized to make controlled purchases from these individuals.
On July 3, the cooperating witness made a purchase of suspected crack cocaine from Graham. The witness contacted Graham by cell phone and arranged to meet him to make the purchase, according to Verity’s affidavit.
Graham reportedly instructed the witness to walk down High Street in South Kingstown and then called him and told him to walk toward Columbia Street, according to Verity’s affidavit.
Graham then reportedly picked the witness up in front of South Kingstown High School and the witness paid Graham $100 in South Kingstown Police funds for crack cocaine. The substance tested positive for cocaine.
According to the affidavit, the witness made a second controlled purchase on July 9. The witness contacted Graham who instructed the witness to respond to the area of Main Street and Columbia Street in South Kingstown.
Members of the surveillance team observed Graham exit the Congdon Street residence and place a substance in a Lincoln SUV. Sekator-Graham later exited the residence with two young girls and departed the residence and was surveilled to the meeting location with the witness, according to Verity’s affidavit.
The witness reportedly met with Sekator-Graham on Mechanic Street in South Kingstown. Sekator-Graham then gave the witness a cigarette pack containing the suspected crack cocaine in exchange for $100 of South Kingstown Police funds. Again, the substance was tested and found to be positive for the presence of cocaine.
On July 12, a state authorized search warrant was obtained for 77 Congdon St. in Narragansett, according to the affidavit. The DEA, Rhode Island State Police, Narragansett Police, South Kingstown Police and the Bureau of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were present for the execution of the search warrant, where they seized nearly 130 grams of crack cocaine, a 9 mm handgun and ammunition, and more than $3,700 in cash.
According to Verity’s affidavit, Graham was previously convicted of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base on Sept. 25, 2000. He was sentenced to 120 months in prison, 60 months of probation and a $100 fine.
United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, South Kingstown Police Chief Vincent Vespia, Narragansett Police Chief Dean Hoxsie and John J. Arvanitis, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New England Field Division, announced most recent arrest Friday.
The Rhode Island State Police and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted South Kingstown Police, Narragansett Police and DEA agents in this matter.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Pamela E. Chin and Paul F. Daly Jr. are prosecuting the case.
South Kingstown Police Captain Joel Ewing-Chow said Monday that the investigation was at least a few months long.
“We all worked collaboratively with the investigation,” Ewing-Chow said of South Kingstown Police, Narragansett Police and the DEA.
Ewing-Chow said when the arrest warrants and search warrant were issued, local police and the DEA called in the Rhode Island State Police Tactical Team to assist with the execution of the warrants.
“We went in and did what we had to do and took those two individuals into custody,” Ewing-Chow said.