News Release
May 25, 2010
Contact: Special Agent Waldo Santiago
Public Information Officer
(787) 277-4700

Three Individuals Arrested for Assaulting DEA Task Force Officers

MAY 25 -- San Juan, PUERTO RICO - On May 21, 2010, MAYRA JAVIELIS RIVERA-CRUZ, age 20, resident of Loiza, Puerto Rico; BETHANY RIVERA-CRUZ, age 21, resident of Loiza, Puerto Rico; and MAYRA CRUZ-PEÑALOZA, age 44, resident of Carolina, Puerto Rico were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and have been charged with Assaulting Federal Officers.

The criminal complaint alleges that on Friday, May 21, 2010 at approximately 12:45 p.m., three (3) Deputized Task Force Officers (TFO) assigned to the DEA Caribbean Division, were attempting to arrest Francisco J. Rivera-Cruz on a federal material witness arrest warrant at a residence in Loiza, Puerto Rico. Mr. Francisco J. Rivera-Cruz was subsequently taken into custody and while he was being secured by the DEA TFO, MAYRA JAVIELIS RIVERA-CRUZ, BETHANY RIVERA-CRUZ, and MAYRA CRUZ-PEÑALOZA began striking the DEA TFO and yelling they were not going to arrest him.

The three women pushed the DEA TFO to the ground and, as a result, one of the DEA Task Force Officers suffered a serious injury to his right knee when one of the women fell on top of him. This DEA Task Force Officer’s injury subsequently required medical treatment.

As a result of this assault, Francisco J. Rivera-Cruz was able to escape and flee the scene.

It is believed MAYRA CRUZ-PEÑALOZA is the mother of Francisco J. Rivera-Cruz and BETHANY RIVERA-CRUZ and MAYRA JAVIELIS RIVERA-CRUZ are his sisters.

If convicted, MAYRA JAVIELIS RIVERA-CRUZ, BETHANY RIVERA-CRUZ and MAYRA CRUZ-PEÑALOZA each face a maximum penalty of up to eight (8) years imprisonment for this alleged offense. Bail has been set at $10,000.00 each and the Preliminary Hearing will be held on June 7, 2010.

This case is being investigated jointly by the FBI San Juan Field Office and the DEA Caribbean Division and will be prosecuted by Brian K. Kidd, Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.

The public is reminded that a criminal complaint is not evidence of any guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial. The U.S. government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.