SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico Guillermo Gil, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico; and Rogelio Guevara, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Caribbean Field Division; announced today the arrest of nine members of a cocaine distribution organization based in Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico. The investigation, conducted by the DEAs High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Ponce Resident Office, revealed that its members were involved in the distribution of large quantities of cocaine in Puerto Rico, the Continental United States, and the Dominican Republic.
Today, in a pre-dawn enforcement operation, a contingent of over 60 federal and local law enforcement agents simultaneously executed nine arrest warrants in the Puerto Rican cities of San Juan, Carolina, Fajardo, and Santa Isabel. These arrest warrants were issued on November 20, 2001, pursuant to a superceding Federal Grand Jury indictment charging the members of the organization with conspiracy to distribute cocaine in violation to Title 21 United States Code, Section: 846 (Federal Controlled Substances Act). The DEAs HIDTA Ponce Resident Office includes Agents from the DEA, the Puerto Rico Police Department, the Puerto Rico Special Investigations Bureau (NIE), the Puerto Rico Treasury Department (Hacienda), and the U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Service. The Puerto Rico National Guard Counterdrug Support Task Force provided logistical and air support to the operation. The U.S. Department of Defense provided analytical support throughout the investigation.
The arrested individuals are: Geraldo RODRIGUEZ-Torres, DOB: 11/19/67; Carlos A. TOLENTINO-Reyes, DOB: 4/30/70; Victor G. SANTIAGO-Ortiz, DOB: 2/15/69; Jose E. DIAZ-Medina, DOB: 5/8/68; Hector L. OLIVERAS-Santiago, DOB: 9/2/74; Miguel A. ALVARADO-Canales; Alfredo LOPEZ-Garcia, DOB: 7/28/69, and Wilfredo SANTIAGO-Reyes, DOB: 2/6/66. Fernando SANTIAGO-Medina, DOB: 12/20/60, remains a fugitive and is being sought by the DEA and the U.S. Marshals Services Puerto Rico Fugitive Task Force. The indictment is an accusation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty at trial.