DEC 17 (SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) – On December 12, 2013, a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned an indictment against 26 defendants charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, crack, cocaine and marijuana, and firearms offenses announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Puerto Rico Police Department were in charge of the investigation, in collaboration with the US Marshals Services and the Puerto Rico Department of Corrections.
DEA and PRPD Agents at the pre-takedown mass briefing. Over 150 federal and Commonwealth law enforcement officers participated in the operation.
DEA and PRPD Agents at one of the arrest location. Twenty-six arrest warrants were executed simultaneously at multiple locations.
|DEA and PRPD Agents coordinate prisoner transportation. ATF, the US Marshals Service, PRPD and the Puerto Rico Department of Corrections provided support to DEA during the investigation and the arrest operation.|
The object of the conspiracy was to distribute controlled substances at the Francisco Figueroa Public Housing Project (PHP) located in the Municipality of Añasco, Puerto Rico, all for significant financial gain and profit. According to the indictment, beginning in 2010, as part of the manner and means of the conspiracy, the drug distribution points would be moved through different locations at the PHP to avoid detection by law enforcement. It was further part of the manner and means of the conspiracy that members of the drug trafficking organization would use force, violence, and intimidation in order to intimidate rival drug trafficking organizations and discipline members of their own drug trafficking organization.
The leader of the organization, Nestor Class-Hernández, aka "Papito," had the final approving authority as to the discipline to be imposed upon residents of the PHP, members of the conspiracy, as well as its enemies and rivals. The other leaders/drug point owners are: Ángel A. Méndez-González, aka "Corina;" Amaury Balbino-Nazario, aka "Amaury;" and Carlos L. Carrero-Ramos, aka "Carlitos."
The other co-conspirators are: Luis Fosse-Morales, aka "Pito," Henry Rodríguez-López, aka "Moña;" Ovidio Datiz-Rodríguez; Francis H. Roman-Tavares, aka "Fanfi;" José J. López-Calero, aka "El Gordo;" Ana Hernández-Valentin, aka "La Tia;" Isoel Cuevas-Medina; Wilmy Pacheco-Ureña, aka "Caco;" Jorge Israel Bonilla-Irizarry; Wilson Quintana-Hernández, aka "Bimbo;" Joshua Class-Hernández; Mark Anthony Irizarry-Rivera, aka "Mikey;" Josue Class-Hernández, aka "Chino;" Ruben Alexis Ruiz-Vázquez, aka "Mozan;" Johanna Irizarry-Rodríguez; Julio Ruiz-Mayo; Oniel J. Ruiz-Torres; Carlos Claudio-Aquino, aka "Carli Bemba;" Nelson Junio Ruiz-Justiniano, aka "Rockerito;" Annette Gaya-Concepción; Juan C. Bracero-Crespo, aka "Joaquin;" and Christopher Acevedo-Díaz, aka "Bocajo."
According to the indictment, the 26 co-conspirators had many roles in order to further the goals of the conspiracy. These were: four leaders/drug point owners; five suppliers and facilitators; three enforcers; five runners; 12 sellers; and nine drug processors and facilitators. Twenty-five of the 26 defendants face one charge of conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
"This drug trafficking organization has been identified as one of the major narcotic distribution organizations operating in the Western portion of Puerto Rico. Violent drug trafficking gangs should take note, and know that we are determined to break their grip on communities, while ensuring that they face justice for their crimes," said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. "Federal and local law enforcement agencies remain committed to using every tool available to attack these criminal organizations, to reduce gang violence and to bring narcotics and firearms violators to justice."
"Today DEA, with the support of our Commonwealth and Federal counterparts, neutralizes a violent drug trafficking organization terrorizing the law abiding citizens of the Francisco Figueroa Public Housing Project in Añasco and whose tentacles extended to the towns of San Sebastian and Mayagüez," said Vito Salvatore Guarino, the Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. "DEA will continue attacking the drug trafficking organizations in every corner of the Island as part of our commitment to help the Commonwealth authorities reduce the drug related violence affecting our communities."
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennise N. Longo. If convicted, the defendants could face from 10 years up to life in prison.