Friday, June 29, 2012

17 Individuals Arrested for Carjacking in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, PR—On June 27, 2012, a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned multiple indictments against 17 defendants charged with carjacking and firearms offenses, Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, announced today. This is the largest carjacking arrest operation in the District of Puerto Rico. The 10 indictments are the result of a joint effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO), the FBI’s Save Our Streets Initiative (SOS) and the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD). The FBI’s SOS is one of the various components of the USAO’s Illegal Firearms and Violent Crime Reduction Initiative.

The 17 defendants are: Luis Agosto-De Jesús; Elías Quiñones-Hernández; Kelvin Mundo-Vélez; Ángel Tarik Marchi-López; Jason Piñero-Vera; Jesús M. Martínez-Valle; José Cortez-Vilella; Jassel Díaz-Santana; Yanitza Mejías-Centeno; Oliver Thomas Rodríguez, aka “Bin Laden;” Ramón Acevedo-Carrasquillo; John Doe 1; John Doe 2; Dave Berríos-Hernández; Johan Díaz-Martínez; Edwin E. Narváez-Soto; Miguel A. Andino and Jesús M. Ríos-Ramos. These 17 defendants are responsible for many violent crimes within Puerto Rico, and had committed offenses which until now remained unsolved.

Within the last 60 days, the SOS agents and the prosecutors in USAO’s Illegal Firearms and Violent Crime Reduction Initiative have filed criminal charges against more than 30 violent offenders for violations to Title 18, United States Code, Section 2119. With these latest charges, the prosecutors in the USAO’s Illegal Firearms and Violent Crime Reduction Initiative have charged approximately 400 violent offenders within the last six months.

“The investigations by the SOS team of FBI special agents and designated PRPD officers will continue into similar crimes in other areas of Puerto Rico. These cases were filed under the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Puerto Rico Police Department and Puerto Rico Department of Justice,” said U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. “The collaboration and team work between state and federal law enforcement agencies in the investigation and prompt filing of charges show the immediate results we continue to obtain with this joint initiative.”

“Thanks to the investigations and collaboration between the FBI, the Police of Puerto Rico, the San Juan Municipal Police Officers and Federal Bureau of Prisons personnel assigned to the Save Our Streets Task Force, new cases were developed and many others resolved. We continue to request the assistance of the public in this initiative. The FBI will continue pursuing this mission with our Law Enforcement partners to bring to justice those committing these violations,” said Joseph Campbell, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI-San Juan Field Office.

The cases are being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys: Max Pérez-Bouret, Kelly Zenon, Victor O. Acevedo, Amanda C. Soto, María L. Montañez and Alfredo Carrión, under the supervision of Assistant U.S. Attorney Jose Capo Iriarte, who is in charge of the Illegal Firearms and Violent Crime Reduction Initiative. If convicted, most of the defendants could face up to life in prison. Indictments contain only charges and are not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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