Operation Violence Reduction nabs dangerous fugitives
Puerto Rico - The U.S. Marshals Service Puerto Rico Violent Offenders Task Force (PRVOTF) conducted a high-impact island-wide fugitive apprehension initiative focusing on the island’s violent offenders. This two-week initiative, called Puerto Rico Violence Reduction1 (PRVR1), resulted in the arrest of 51 fugitives, gang members, sex offenders and violent criminals in the District of Puerto Rico. The success of this operation was the result of collective efforts from the PRVOTF, the United States Marshals Service Investigative Operations and Tactical Operations Divisions, FBI, ATF, DEA and ICE with the support of United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“We focused on locating and apprehending dangerous fugitives in Puerto Rico”. By removing these violent offenders from the streets, the communities they preyed upon can immediately feel more secure.” said U.S. Marshal Orlando Rivera. “PRVR1 was about using our expertise and law enforcement partnerships to significantly impact our communities by focusing on the worst of the worst violent criminals.”
In order to have the greatest impact on violent crime, PRVR1 focused on fugitives who had three or more prior felony arrests for crimes such as murder, attempted murder, robbery, aggravated assault, arson, abduction/kidnapping, weapon offenses, sexual assault, child molestation and narcotics. Operation PRVR1 investigators increased their focus on fugitives accused of violent crimes and sex crimes.
Between August 22 and September 2, the U.S. Marshals Service used its multi-jurisdictional investigative authority and fugitive task force network to arrest 51 fugitives wanted on charges including 7 for homicide; and 3 for sexual offenses. In addition, investigators seized 13 firearms, $14,626.00 in currency, and illegal narcotics including Heroin, marijuana cocaine and prescribed medications. Investigators also conducted 240 sex offenders’ compliance checks and opened 43 new sex offenders’ criminal investigations during the course of this 2-week operation.
A significant arrest took place on August 24, 2016, when one from the District of Puerto Rico top ten most wanted was apprehended. Hector Miranda Rivera aka: “UFO” was the leader of a drug trafficking organization, which operated in several public housing projects in the north part of the island. At the time of the arrest Miranda Rivera was residing at an exclusive complex in the town of Gurabo, PR.
At the residence deputies found cocaine packaged for distribution, two Glock pistols Model 22 and model 19, 3 magazines .40 with 22 round, 2 magazine .40 with 15 round, 1 magazine 13 with round, and 1 magazine with 10 round, approximately $ 13,000.00 in U.S. currency, 1 holster, additional 110 ammunitions .40 and 550 grams of cocaine.
Another significant arrest took place in the town of Dorado, PR, when members of the PRVOTF arrested William Ramirez Frechel, this fugitive was wanted for aggravated assault on a police officer and narcotics violation.
“Working with our federal, state, and local partners, enforcement initiatives like PRVR1 severely cripple these criminal activities and make our island safer. “said United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez.
The concept behind interagency law enforcement operations such as Operation PRVR1 evolved largely from regional and district task forces. Since the 1980s, the Marshals Service has combined their resources and expertise with local, state and federal agencies to find and apprehend dangerous fugitives. Operation VR1 continued this tradition.