MET Deployment to Ponce Ends with 5 Arrests
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico: Jerome M. Harris, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Caribbean Division today announced the arrests of five (5) individuals in Ponce, Puerto Rico. The arrests are the result of an investigation by the DEA Caribbean Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) which culminated in Federal Grand Jury indictments against seven (7) suspected drug traffickers in Ponce, Puerto Rico for violations of the United States Controlled Substances Act. The Caribbean Mobile Enforcement Team (MET) deployment was requested by the U.S. Attorney’s Ponce Violent Crimes Initiative to assist the Police of Puerto Rico in curtailing the high rate of violent crimes in the Ponce area.
The individuals indicted, the following were arrested: Luis COLON-Velez, alias MEMO, Eliezer COLON, Luis COLON-Natal, alias CHINO, Ramon Luis COLON-Cruz, and Jayson DEMERA-Lopez. The following individuals were indicted but remain fugitive: Cristobal RIVERA-Medina and Bernardino RODRIGUEZ-Rivera. COLON-Velez, COLON, and COLON-Natal are residents of the Santiago Iglesias Public Housing Project and were charged with possession with the intent to distribute crack. COLON-Velez and COLON are father and son. COLON-Cruz resides at Parcelas Maguelles and was charged with possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine. DEMERA-Lopez resides at Tower I of Llana Lara Condominium and was charged with possession with the intent to distribute heroin. Fugitive RIVERA-Medina is believed to be a resident of Doctor Pila Public Housing Project and was charged with possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine. Fugitive RODRIGUEZ-Rivera is believed to be a resident of the Santiago Iglesias Public Housing Project and was charged with possession with the intent to distribute heroin.
The arrests warrants were issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge Camille L. Velez-Rive. The individuals arrested where temporarily detained without bail and remanded to the custody of the United States Marshals Service pending their detention hearing. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jose Capo of the Ponce Violent Crimes Initiative. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Police of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Justice Department’s Special Investigations Bureau (NIE) also participated in the investigation. All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.