OCDETF Operation the Broker Fugitives Extradited to the United States
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Jerome M. Harris, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Caribbean Division, Lydia St. John-Mellado, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Herman Wirshing, U.S. Marshal for the District of Puerto Rico, jointly announced today the extradition of fugitives Carlos FERNANDEZ-VARGAS and Zenda RIOS-MOLERO to the United States from the island of Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. On January 7, 2005, the Dutch and Curacao Authorities arrested FERNANDEZ-VARGAS and RIOS-MOLERO who were charged on a multiple count indictment for narcotics smuggling/distribution and money laundering conspiracies filed on January 20, 2005, against them and twenty-two others in the U.S. District Court, District of Puerto Rico, as a result of a joint DEA-ICE Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation named Operation “The Broker”.
Pursuant to OCDETF Operation “The Broker”, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico indicted and filed Provisional Arrest Warrants and Extradition Request with the Curacao Authorities. The Dutch and Curacao Authorities, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of International Affairs, the DEA Curacao Country Office and the U.S. Marshals Service where instrumental in the execution of these arrest warrants and extradition of these defendants to the District of Puerto Rico.