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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

61 Individuals Indicted for Drug Trafficking



Defendants face a narcotics and money laundering forfeiture allegation of 30 million dollars

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – On March 4, a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned an indictment against 61 defendants charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances in the municipalities of Manatí, Barceloneta, and Florida, PR, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) is in charge of the investigation, with the collaboration of the Puerto Rico Police Department, specially the Arecibo Strike Force, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

The indictment alleges that beginning in 2000, the organization distributed crack, heroin, cocaine, marihuana, Oxycodone (commonly known as “Percocet”), and Alprazolam (commonly known as “Xanax”) within 1,000 feet of a real property comprising a housing facility owned by a public housing authority. The object of the conspiracy was to distribute controlled substances at the Enrique Zorilla Public Housing Project, the Los Murales Public Housing Project, the Cortes Ward, the San José Ward and the Acueducto Ward, all located in the Municipality of Manatí, PR. The conspiracy also distributed controlled substances at V & B Public Housing Project in the Municipality of Barceloneta, and the Villas de Florida Public Housing Project, located in the Municipality of Florida; all for financial gain and profit.

The 61 co-conspirators had many roles in order to further the goals of the conspiracy.  According to the indictment this organization had up to 12 leaders/drug point owners/enforcers, two narcotics suppliers, at least 11 runners, six drug processors, 24 sellers, three look-outs/facilitators. Eighteen of the individuals are facing one count of possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

The 61 defendants are: Carlos Gotay Guzmán, a.k.a. “Moro;” Javier González Pérez, a.k.a. “Javier Tornillo;” Reinaldo Colón Oliveras, a.k.a. “Tito Capao; Roberto Maldonado Rodríguez, a.k.a. “Robert El Calvo;” Carlos Vázquez Otero, a.k.a. “Carlos Misquin;” Julio Alberto Rivera-Rodríguez, a.k.a. “Ito;” Eric O. Rosa Ramos, a.k.a. “El Indio;” Jorge L. Alicia Pagán, a.k.a. “Bebo Conejo;” Alfredo Virella Laureano, a.k.a. “Keko;” Christian Rodríguez Rivera, a.k.a. “Cuso;” José M. Rivera Molina, a.k.a. “Bolillo;” Jonathan Ortiz Salgado, a.k.a. “Cochi;” Juan Ramiro Fonseca-Otero, a.k.a. “Burro;” Héctor Moreno Rivera, a.k.a. “Mickey Bay;” Aníbal García Quiñones, a.k.a. “Junior El Manco;” Luis Daniel Rosa-Santiago, a.k.a. “Luisda;” José Resto-Laureano, a.k.a. “Piti;” Jaime Freytes Maldonado, a.k.a. “Micro;” Alexander Avilés Santiago, a.k.a. “Pipo;” Héctor Colón Romero, a.k.a. “Coscu;” Ulises Soto Soto; Jose Luis Ortiz Vega, a.k.a. “Bebo Chino;” Christian Pantoja-Sánchez, a.k.a. “Wolf;” Ernie Vega Cruz, a.k.a. “Ernie Perla;” Jonathan Figueroa Hernández, a.k.a. “Jonathan Mickey Mouse;” Roberto R. Valle Cordero, a.k.a. “Robert de Niro;” Ramón J. Figueroa Colón, a.k.a. “Bengay;” Josué Salgado Pagán, a.k.a. “Tony Monaco;” Héctor Earl Montilla-Battice, a.k.a. “Cacho;” Christian Torres Morán, a.k.a. “Palomita;” Jessie Vega Quiñones; Alex José Babilonia-Torres, a.k.a. “Alex Moña;” Luis Ernesto González Moreno, a.k.a. “Poeta;” Luis M. Cortés Class, a.k.a. “Luis El Loco;” Héctor M. Rodríguez Soto, a.k.a. “Buddhita;” Omar E. Mendoza Vidal, a.k.a. “Cuajo;” Edwin Montijo González, a.k.a. “Joel Sandwich;” Luis Centeno Ortiz; Edwin Mendoza Vargas, a.k.a. “Pito Chuli Mami;” Rubén de Jesús-Ortiz, a.k.a. “Rubencito;” José Rivera Medina, a.k.a. “Pito Llaga;” Jovanny Reyes Sánchez, a.k.a. “Jovanny El Lento;” Elizabeth Gerena Santiago, a.k.a. “Eli La Mona;” Kelvin Xavier Nieves-De Jesús, a.k.a. “Kelvin Blue;” Ruben Larregui López, a.k.a. “Cusito;” Fernando J. Muñíz Vega, a.k.a. “Joel Vega;” Emmanuel Salgado González, a.k.a. “Mejico;” Danny Salgado González, a.k.a. “Danny;” Luis A. Serrano Aponte, a.k.a. “Cachi;” Luis Ángel Siragusa Soto, a.k.a. “El Gordo Siragusa;” Carlos José Siragusa Soto, a.k.a. “Bebe Siragusa;” Christian O. Rodríguez Morales, a.k.a. “Christian El Lento;” Dennis Colón Laureano, a.k.a. “Buho;” Shaquille E. Rivera de Jesús; Ruth Emily Hernaiz Rojas, a.k.a. “Ruty;” Luis Antonio Ibañez-Bello, a.k.a. “Gordo Ibanez;” José Antonio Acevedo Nazario, a.k.a. “Sindicato;” Beatriz de Los Angeles Ortiz-Sánchez, a.k.a. “Bea;” José O. Padilla Flores, a.k.a. “Landi;” Jorge Rivera Sánchez; and Delgado Díaz.

Defendants José Antonio Acevedo-Nazario, aka “Sindicato;” José O. Padilla-Flores, aka “Landi;” Reinaldo Colón-Oliveras, aka “Tito Capao;” Jorge Rivera-Sánchez; and Leslie Delgado-Díaz are each facing one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Defendant Josué Salgado-Pagán, aka “Tony Monaco” is facing two counts of money laundering.

“This is the second arrest operation against a gang in Manatí in the last three weeks. These arrests will keep the law-abiding citizens in these areas safer from the inevitable violence that drug trafficking brings,” said U.S. Attorney Rodríguez-Vélez. “These arrests are a clear indication of the success of the OCDETF program in the fight against drug trafficking.”

“This case exemplifies that those involved in the distribution of narcotics and other contraband will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted,” said Ángel M. Meléndez, Special Agent in Charge of HSI San Juan. “HSI thanks our local, state and federal law enforcement partners for their significant cooperation in dismantling this drug trafficking organization.”

“ATF continues to be in the forefront in fighting against firearms trafficking and firearms related violence. The area of Manatí, PR wakes up a safer place thanks to the Federal, State and Local law enforcement partnership,” said Hugo Barrera, ATF Special Agent in Charge.

The defendants were the targets of a long-term Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDEFT) investigation. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Veronda is in charge of the prosecution of the case.  If convicted the defendants face a minimum sentence of 10 years 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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