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Panhandler Faces Fentanyl Charge

The Warwick Police Department is located at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.
The Warwick Police Department is located at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.
The Warwick Police Department is located at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive. A panhandler’s prior charges resulted in his arrest, and ultimate fentanyl possession charge Feb. 7.

WARWICK, RI —  On Feb. 7 at about 10:40 p.m., Officer Nathaniel Gray, patrolling near Trader Joe’s at 1000 Bald Hill Road,  arrested a panhandler at the entrance to the plaza wanted by Cranston Police, finding fentanyl in his belongings.

Gray recognized Shayne Barnes, 44, a homeless man, from previous encounters and noted a Cranston Police warrant for his arrest for violating a restraining order and Domestic Disorderly Conduct, according to the officer’s report. Officer Brian Holleran arrived to assist as Gray handcuffed Barnes.

Barnes told Gray he had a needle in his pocket, which the officer secured and later placed in a sharps container at Warwick Police Headquarters, 99 Veterans Memorial Drive, Warwick. He also told Gray he had fentanyl in a cigarette box in his jacket, near his backpack and bicycle at the entrance to the plaza.

Barnes complained of a prior shoulder injury, and Gray secured his hands in front, Gray reported. Gray located the fentanyl inside the jacket, in a clear plastic bag. His bicycle was transported to WPD Headquarters as well, according to the report.

The fentanyl, 1.2 grams worth, was tested at the station and confirmed as such, according to the report. Gray issued Barnes a summons to Third District Court on a Possession of Schedule 1-V Controlled Substance, fentanyl, charge, on Feb. 16. Barnes was ultimately turned over to Cranston Police on the outstanding warrant.

He was arraigned on Feb. 16 and scheduled for a May 17 court screening, then released on $1,000 surety bail.




Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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