- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 5, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A Woonsocket man has been ordered detained on federal charges of possessing and trafficking the prescription painkiller fentanyl and heroin.

The U.S. attorney’s office said 32-year-old Alfredo Balestier-Sanchez was arrested Tuesday by Woonsocket police and agents with a Drug Enforcement Administration task force after a monthlong investigation. He allegedly sold fentanyl last month on at least three occasions to someone cooperating with law enforcement.

Balestier-Sanchez appeared in court Wednesday on charges of distributing fentanyl, possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl and distributing heroin. He was ordered held.

Fentanyl, in some cases in combination with heroin, has been associated with a string of fatal overdoses in the Northeast, including in Rhode Island.

It was not immediately clear if Balestier-Sanchez has legal representation.

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