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- 04-27-2012, 02:27 PM #1
40 Indicted for Drug Trafficking in Puerto Rico
Forty Individuals Indicted for Drug Trafficking in the Municipality of San Sebastian
Narcotics Forfeiture Allegation of $5 Million
U.S. Attorney’s Office
April 26, 2012 District of Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN—On April 25, 2012, a federal grand jury indicted 40 individuals as a result of an investigation led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD), announced today United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez.
The defendants are charged in a six-count indictment with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute “crack” (cocaine base), heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and Alprazolam (Xanax). The object of the conspiracy was to distribute controlled substances at the San Andrés and Andrés Méndez Liciaga “Méndez Liciaga” Public Housing Projects and other areas nearby and within the municipality of San Sebastián, Puerto Rico for significant financial gain.
According to the indictment, from on or about the year 2007, the defendants conspired to possess with the intent to distribute crack, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and Xanax at the drug distribution points within San Andrés and Méndez Liciaga housing projects. The main leaders of the organization were Héctor Rosario-Rivera, aka “Junito,” “El Viejo”; and Randy De Jesús-Soto, aka “Papito el Gordo.” The defendant directly controlled the drug trafficking activities at both housing projects and within the municipality of San Sebastián.
The leaders of this drug trafficking organization purchased and transported wholesale amounts of cocaine that were delivered to co-conspirators for further distribution.
According to the indictment, this drug trafficking organization had seven drug owners: Gerardo Pérez-Santiago, aka “Gordo Sorullo”; Anthony Ruiz-Nieves, aka “Telkin”; Axel Álvarez-Ponce; Havi Lee Vega-Pérez; Julia I. Mejías-Martínez, aka “Titi Ivy,” “La Croquer”; Jonathan Infante-Santiago, aka “Bebe”; and Malvin Santiago-Cuevas, aka “Masca.” The 40 co-conspirators had many roles in order to further the goals of the conspiracy, including: two leaders, seven drug owners, two runners, two enforcers, 26 sellers, and one facilitator.
It was further part of the manner and means of the conspiracy that at San Andrés, the drug points would move through different locations to avoid being detected by law enforcement. According to the indictment, the drug trafficking organization would at times employ the use of minors to perform tasks related to drug trafficking, such as, but not limited to, performing as lookouts, selling, and delivering narcotics, and picking up and delivering proceeds from the sales of narcotics at the drug points.
It was further part of the manner and means of the conspiracy that in order to distribute controlled substances, co-conspirators would use apartments and other locations to cook, store, pack, and sell the drugs and to conceal drugs, drug paraphernalia, drug ledgers, drug proceeds, scanners, firearms, and ammunition. Nine members of the drug trafficking organization are facing one count of conspiracy to possess, carry, use, brandish, and/or use firearms during and in relation to a drug trafficking offense in order to protect themselves and their drug trafficking business.
“Violent drug organizations hold our communities hostage and promulgate fear, intimidation, and violence, threatening the well-being of law abiding citizens,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. “This investigation has taken dangerous criminals off the streets of Puerto Rico and sends a clear message to other violent gangs that we will break their grip on our communities and bring them to justice, no matter where they are.”
“Modern methods of transportation have had their benefits and disadvantages for the people of Puerto Rico. A major disadvantage is how drugs are easily transported into the heart of Puerto Rico into what should be peaceful suburban areas, inflicting serious damage to the community through drug trafficking and violence. However, the FBI and our law enforcement partners will remain vigilant in the fight against drug trafficking, gangs, and violent crime in Puerto Rico in an effort to make Puerto Rico a safer place to live,” said Joseph Campbell, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI San Juan Field Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Olga Castellón and Michael Bagge.
If convicted, the defendants face a minimum of 10 years’ imprisonment and a maximum of life imprisonment, with fines of up to $10 million. Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.
FBI.gov is an official site of the U.S. Federal Government, U.S. Department of Justice
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