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Panhandler Faces Drug Charge

East Providence charge a homeless Providence man with possession of marijuana and a drug used to treat heroin addiction.

A panhandler near the Mobil on the Run at Mink Road in East Providence faces more than a violation of the city’s hawking and peddling ordinances.

Steven J. Patricio Sr., who lives at Crossroads Rhode Island in Providence, was picked up by an East Providence patrol officer while about panhandling late Friday afternoon, Feb. 22. He was found in possession of marijuana and a prescription drug used to treat heroin addiction without a prescription for it. 

He told the police officer he was begging for money to return by bus to Providence. There is a RIPTA bus stop at the gas station and convenience store. 

Patricio was taken to the police station after the police officer ran a check on him. He was wanted on a bench warrant from District Court for failing to appear on another charge.

At the police station, police searched him and found a small baggie of marijuana in his coat pocket and two packages of the prescription drug, Suboxone sublingual film, in his wallet. Suboxone is used as a treatment for patients addicted to opiate drugs like heroin.

Patricio said he had a prescription for the drug, but he couldn’t produce it for police. He was charged with possession of marijuana and obstruction of justice.

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