Shuts Down Drug Ring In Guayama
FEB 1 -- (SAN JUAN) – Jerome Michael Harris, Special Agent in Charge, Caribbean Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Velez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, today announced the arrest of 11 drug traffickers operating in the Municipality of Guayama. These arrests are the culmination of a DEA High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) undercover operation in response to the enormous and increasing drug problem in the Puente Jobos and Pozuelo Wards.
The DEA HIDTA investigation, conducted under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program, was part of the U.S. Attorney’s Ponce Strike Force initiative, which seeks to reduce violent crime in the southern region of Puerto Rico. The investigation resulted in a federal grand jury indictment charging twelve individuals with possession with the intent to distribute, distribution and conspiracy to distribute cocaine and heroin in violation of the Federal Controlled Substances Act. One individual remains at large.
Those indicted as part of DEA’s Operation Capsize are:
The indictment was issued by a federal grand jury on December 20, 2006 and is the culmination of a two-year OCDETF investigation led by the DEA with the collaboration of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Police of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Justice Department’s Special Investigations Bureau. The statutory penalties for the offenses charged in the indictment range from a minimum term of five years to a maximum of life imprisonment.