Last month, three Providence police officers were arrested on drug charges in connection with a large-scale cocaine ring. The drug trade is especially corrupting to people who work in law enforcement, Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox told the Providence Journal. “There's lots of money there.? Money corrupts,” said Fox, who mentioned two examples: drug dealers paying for police protection and the police stealing from dealers. The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that in 2006-2007 Rhode Island was among the top five states in cocaine use.
Rhode Island's proximity to shipping hubs for cocaine and other illicit drugs in New York, Hartford, and Springfield, Lawrence and Lowell, Mass., contribute to its availability. If it comes from Colombia, it is often brought to New England by a Dominican gang. On arrival in Rhode Island, if it is still in powder form, the cocaine tends to be 70-percent to 80-percent pure,. Dealers then dilute it with Inositol vitamin supplement or another cutting agent to increase the volume and the profit.