February 11, 2011
Contact: Ana Pino
Phone Number: (787) 277-4700
ATF, DEA Investigation Leads To Nine Individuals Indicted For Drug Trafficking
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - On February 10, 2011, a federal grand jury indicted nine individuals as a result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement (DEA), jointly with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and (ATF) and the Puerto Rico Police (PRPD), announced today United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. The defendants are charged in a five-count indictment with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, crack and marijuana.
Defendants Julio Marquez-Alejandro, aka “Chino Montero,” and Michael Cruz-(deceased) were the leaders and owners of the drug trafficking organization. They led, organized, controlled and supervised the sale of the illegal narcotic at the drug points located in the Manuel A. Pérez Public Housing Project and other locations. Enrique Montañez-Martínez, Diego Pérez-Colón, aka “Dieguito,” Garrick Pomales Soto, aka “Chulo,” aka “Bonitillo,” and Ramón Del Valle Rodríguez, aka “Tio,” supplied the narcotics for this organization. Anthony Méndez-Ramírez and Daniel Benesario-Centeno, aka “Menor,” participated as runners; and Nathanael Viera-Montañez and Daniel González-Burgos acted as buyers or sellers. The indictment alleges that on several occasions the defendants sold crack to confidential sources.
“Today’s operation was part of our Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and contributes to our ongoing battle against the drug trafficking organizations that operate all around Puerto Rico,” said U.S. Attorney Rodríguez-Vélez. “We will not rest until every town is safe again, and all our citizens can live in peace.”
“DEA continues to join forces with ATF and PRPD to eradicate the most violent drug trafficking organizations terrorizing our communities,” said DEA Caribbean Division Special Agent in Charge Javier F. Peña. “Today’s arrests are part of that continued effort to rid our communities of violent criminals.”
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vernon Benet Miles.
If convicted, the defendants face a minimum of ten years imprisonment and a maximum of life imprisonment, with fines of up to $4 million. Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.