Saturday, August 22, 2020

Five Individuals Charged With Kidnapping, Murder, And Firearms Offenses

 SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Yesterday, a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned a second superseding indictment against five defendants charged with kidnapping resulting in murder and firearm offenses, announced W. Stephen Muldrow, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is in charge of the investigation and is being assisted by the Puerto Rico Department of Public Safety, the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) and the Bureau of Forensic Sciences.

The indictment alleges that on or about June 8, 2018, in the District of Puerto Rico, defendants Brian Díaz-Serrano, a/k/a “Retro”; Roberto Meléndez-Hiraldo, a/k/a “Cocodrilo”; Jairo Huertas-Mercado; Joshua Luyando-González; and Jadnel Flores-Nater, a/k/a “Potro”, aiding and abetting each other, kidnapped W.G.E. and shot him multiple times with multiple firearms resulting in his death. The kidnapping occurred in the Diego Zalduondo Public Housing Project in Luquillo. The victim was then transported by vehicle to Carruzo Ward, in Carolina, where he was killed. In furtherance of the commission of the kidnapping, the defendants used two vehicles, a Toyota RAV4 Sports Utility Vehicle and a Toyota Camry, each vehicle being a means, facility, and instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce. The second superseding indictment added defendants Luyando-González and Flores-Nater to the previously charged indictment.

The indictment includes one count for kidnapping and two counts relating to using, carrying, brandishing, and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence that resulted in the death of W.G.E.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David T. Henek of the District of Puerto Rico is in charge of the prosecution of the case. If convicted, the defendants 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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