SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A federal grand jury within the District of Puerto Rico returned a seven-count indictment charging 20 males and 4 girls with trafficking cocaine within the District of Puerto Rico, starting in 2017. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) oversees the investigation, with the collaboration of Homeland Safety Investigations (HSI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Inside Income Service (IRS), U.S. Customs and Border Safety (CBP), the Puerto Rico Police Bureau (PRPB), Ponce Municipal Police, and the Puerto Rico Division of Treasury. America Marshals Service additionally collaborated in the course of the arrests.
In accordance with the charging doc, from 2017 by means of the date of the return of the indictment, 24 people conspired to own with intent to distribute cocaine. The defendants are:
Arthur W. Rodríguez-Sánchez, a.okay.a. “Drizmali/Chino/Quemao/Templo/Chal/Chal F”
Emmanuel Rodríguez-Rodríguez, a.okay.a. “Jibaro”
Smill E. Gómez- De La Cruz, a.okay.a. “Pampara/Pompera/Pampera/Carlos/Carlitos”
Ruben E. Vidal-Flores
Juan C. Cuevas-Feliz
Yan C. García-Pola
Victor X. Zorrilla-Mejías
Wilfredo R. Vázquez-López, a.okay.a. “W/Www”
José A. Aquino-Perales
Alexis Abreu-Cordero, a.okay.a. “El Viejo/Alexis/Alexis Ozuna-Cordero”
Peter J. Reyes-Suárez
Ángel L. Hernández-Díaz, a.okay.a. “Coly/Coli/Coli El Fuerte”
Ángel L. Santiago-Rivera
Kenneth A. Cruz-Fontánez
José M. Hidalgo-Duarte
Jesús H. Vega-Rivera, a.okay.a. “Gipeta/Jipeta/Millonario 27”
Kailyn N. Rivera-Torres
Additionally, 21 defendants are charged with conspiracy to own with intent to distribute cocaine aboard a vessel topic to the jurisdiction of the USA and conspiracy to import cocaine from the nations of Colombia, Venezuela, and the British Virgin Islands, and the USA Virgin Islands, into Puerto Rico.
The defendants made a number of journeys between Puerto Rico and the British and U.S. Virgin Islands to move narcotics. Throughout their smuggling ventures, the defendants used two or three vessels with the intention to distract legislation enforcement officers. As well as, they recruited trusted females that might pose as decoys within the vessels to district legislation enforcement. Additionally they recruited defendant José A. Aquino-Perales, a PRPB FURA police officer that acted as a lookout in Puerto Rico for the drug trafficking group.
“Right this moment’s arrests dismantle a corporation that coordinated not solely the worldwide smuggling of medicine, but additionally the motion of drug proceeds, which is important to the success of those unlawful actions,” mentioned U.S. Lawyer Muldrow. “We are going to proceed maximizing our multi-agency efforts and can mix assets to research and prosecute those that smuggle medicine into Puerto Rico.”
Along with the drug trafficking prices, 4 defendants are charged with conspiracy to launder financial devices, which concerned the proceeds of dealing in managed substances.
The defendants are dealing with a forfeiture allegation of the next property:
- Plenty of land positioned at Bo. Calabazas, in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico
- A two-level home positioned at Urbanization Vista de Lago Campo, in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico
- Property positioned in Urbanization Villa Del Rey, Part IV, Lot 12, 4-G, positioned in Caguas, Puerto Rico
- Property positioned at Sector Coco Barrio Jueyes, in Salinas, Puerto Rico
- Six vessels
If convicted, the defendants face a minimal sentence of 10 years in jail, and a most sentence of life in jail. A federal district courtroom decide will decide any sentence after contemplating the U.S. Sentencing Tips and different statutory components.
Assistant United States Lawyer (AUSA) and Chief of the Transnational Organized Crime Part Max J. Pérez-Bouret; Deputy Chief of the Transnational Organized Crime Part, AUSA María L. Montañez-Concepción; and AUSA Jorge L. Matos are in control of the prosecution of the case.
This prosecution is a part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Job Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, cash launderers, gangs, and transnational legal organizations that threaten the USA by utilizing a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency method that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and native legislation enforcement companies towards legal networks.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed harmless till confirmed responsible past an affordable doubt in a courtroom of legislation.