Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Former Police Officer of Puerto Rico Convicted for Role in Providing Security for Drug Transactions

WASHINGTON – A former police officer of Puerto Rico has been convicted by a federal jury in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for his role in providing security for drug transactions, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Joseph S. Campbell of the FBI’s San Juan Division.

 Javier A. Diaz Castro, 30, was convicted on Dec. 12, 2011, of two counts of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, two counts of attempting to possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, and two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug transaction.  Diaz was charged in an indictment unsealed on Oct. 6, 2010, along with 88 other law enforcement officers in Puerto Rico and 44 other individuals, as part of the FBI undercover operation known as Guard Shack.

 According to the indictment and information presented in court, on at least two occasions in 2010, Diaz provided security for what he believed were a series of illegal drug deals, but which in fact were part of the undercover FBI operation.  Diaz, a 10-year veteran of the police force, was assigned to the frauds unit at the time of the transactions.  According to information presented at trial, Diaz was brought into the scheme by another police officer of Puerto Rico.

 In return for the security he provided, based on his departmental training and using his service weapon, Diaz received cash payments of $2,000 per transaction.

 U.S. District Judge Gustavo A. Gelpi scheduled sentencing for March 19, 2012.  At sentencing, Diaz faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison.

 The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Eric L. Gibson and Barak Cohen of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.  The case was investigated by the FBI.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico also participated in the investigation and prosecution of this case.

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