Drug trafficking indictment returned on Woonsocket man

A Woonsocket man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of trafficking heroin and the powerful painkiller fentanyl.

The U.S. attorney's office said Thursday the indictment charges 32-year-old Alfredo Balestier-Sanchez with distribution of fentanyl and a heroin-fentanyl mix and possession with the intent to distribute the mix. He's also charged with distribution of a mixture containing heroin, morphine and codeine.

Balestier-Sanchez was arrested March 4 and has been in federal custody. Court documents say numerous packets containing various combinations of the drugs were seized during a search of his home and from purchases made by undercover agents.

Fentanyl, in some cases combined with heroin, has been associated with a string of fatal overdoses in Rhode Island and elsewhere.

A message was left for Balestier-Sanchez's public defender.