18 Individuals Indicted For Drug Trafficking At El Trebol Public Housing Project
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - On November 12, 2014, a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned an indictment against 18 defendants charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. The Drug Enforcement Administration is in charge of the investigation, with the collaboration of the Puerto Rico Police Department.
The 18 defendants are: Henry Díaz-Texidor, aka “Canto”; Enrique Osorio-Giron, aka “Yun Yun”; Frederick Torres-Merced, aka “Sombel”; Miguel A. Pagán-Cátala, aka “Guelo”; Luis Javier Ríos Cátala, aka “Javi”; Saul O. Rodríguez-Rodríguez; José Verdejo-Santiago, aka “Colo”; Edgariel Medina-Rolón, aka “Precio”; Tomás Benítez-González, aka “Tommy”; Giovanni Burgos-Arroyo, aka “Gino”; Larry Liboy López-Cepero, aka “Gordo”; Josué Machado-De Jesús, aka “Indio”; Jesús M. Marquez-Rosario, aka “Pacquiao”; Alexander Rosado-Ruiz, aka “Cachito”; José Abel Rosado-Ruiz, aka “Puchito”; Joshua Rosario-Cruz; Danny Tejada-Rosado, aka “Pocheche”; and Roberto García-Sánchez, aka “Robert”.
The indictment alleges that beginning in 2005, the organization distributed cocaine, heroin, crack, marihuana and prescription drugs within 1,000 feet of a real property comprising housing facility owned by a public housing authority, all for financial gain and profit.
The 18 co-conspirators had many roles in order to further the goals of the conspiracy. Some of the defendants would routinely possess, carry, brandish, and use firearms to protect themselves and the drug trafficking organization; and would use force, violence, threats and intimidation in order to discipline members of their own organization.
It was further a part of the manner and means of the conspiracy that locks would be placed by members of the organization on gates located in the common areas of El Trébol buildings in order to protect the sellers from law enforcement.
“I commend our state and federal law enforcement partners for their hard work and efforts in this investigation,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. “We will pursue the prosecution of these defendants with equal vigor.”
“The Drug Enforcement Administration initiated Operation Lucky Charm in April 2013, in conjunction with the Puerto Rico Police Department. DEA will not allow these violent drug trafficking organizations to take control over the lives of innocent people who live in El Trébol Public Housing Project or any other communities in Puerto Rico,” said Vito Salvatore Guarino, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Caribbean Division.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Teresa Zapata-Valladares is in charge of the prosecution of the case. If convicted the defendants face a minimum sentence of 10 years up to life in prison. Indictments contain only charges and are not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.