Providence, R.I. – A man federal prosecutors say is the leader of a violent street gang has pleaded not guilty after being indicted on firearms charges and charges he conspired to distribute drugs.
Twenty eight-year-old John Polanco is allegedly the head of the local affiliate of the Trinitarios, which began a few decades ago in a New York prison. Prosecutors say they have FBI video of Polanco leading a meeting of the Trinitarios.
A press release from the U.S. Attorneys office refers to the group as "one of the developing gang organizations in Rhode Island." It says the gang is also extending into several states, including Pennsylvania, Florida and New Jersey.
The U.S. Attorney's office says Polanco is one of three men to be indicted by a federal grand jury and to enter not guilty pleas. A fourth man faces a state firearms charge.