Convicted killer charged in drug operation

Gerald Mastracchio, charged with running an illegal drug operation, appears in Superior Court, Thursday, August 7, 2014.

A convicted killer from North Providence was ordered held without bail Thursday as a parole violator.

Gerald Mastracchio is accused of selling marijuana out of a house in Johnston.

During a three-month investigation, state police said investigators found 28 marijuana plants, scales and papers in a Putnam Pike home.

Mastracchio, 52, initially obtained the pot legally because he had a legitimate medical marijuana card, which he presented to police on his arrest Friday.

According to the state Department of Health, the law simply states a person cannot hold a marijuana card if he or she has a previous drug conviction.

Mastracchio was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 in the 1979 killing of a 13-year-old boy. He beat Ricky Valente with a baseball bat and threw him semiconscious off the Jamestown Bridge.

While in prison, Mastracchio beat another inmate to death with gardening tools and was convicted of assault and conspiracy.

The state released Mastracchio on parole in 2010. He was returned to prison for violating parole multiple times and was released again in 2012.

Mastracchio is due back in court Aug. 21.