PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Authorities say a Rhode Island man used Social Security numbers stolen from children to purchase vehicles that ended up in the possession of a man accused of leading a multi-state drug-trafficking ring.

Donald Wicklund, of Pawtucket, was arrested Friday and charged on several counts including aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud. The 32-year-old has pleaded not guilty.

Federal authorities say Wicklund created false credit profiles to purchase four vehicles in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Court records show three of the four vehicles ended up with a 25-year-old man accused of distributing cocaine and fentanyl throughout New England.

Authorities were led to Wicklund after investigating a separate case in which a 25-year-old man allegedly used stolen information to open credit cards and make purchases.

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