April 26, 2011
Contact: Ana Pino
Phone Number: (787) 277-4700
Puerto Rican Drug Lord And His Brother Convicted Of Conspiracy To Possess With Intent To Distribute Controlled Substances
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO- - Ángel Ayala-Vázquez, aka “El Negro,” “Ángelo Millones,” “El Buster,” and “Papa Upa” and Luis X. Cruz-Vázquez, aka “El Mono,” were found guilty today of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin; crack; cocaine; marijuana; Percocet; and Xanax, following a two-month jury trial, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.
For the past 15 years, Ayala-Vázquez was the notorious leader of a violent and pervasive drug trafficking organization. This organization was responsible for the importation of thousands of kilograms of narcotics to Puerto Rico; the transshipment of narcotics from Puerto Rico to several eastern seaboard states, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida; the distribution of kilogram quantities of narcotics to other drug trafficking organizations operating in Puerto Rico; and the street level distribution of the same within the José Celso Barbosa and Sierra Linda Public Housing Projects in Bayamón, Puerto Rico.
Members of this drug trafficking organization, under the leadership of Ayala-Vázquez, employed violence and even murder to maintain control of their drug trafficking activities, and to eliminate rival organizations. Ayala-Vázquez allowed other members of the drug trafficking organization to control the street level sale of the narcotics within other public housing projects and throughout the district of Puerto Rico, as long as the narcotics had been purchased from him.
Luis X. Cruz-Vázquez, Ayala-Vázquez’ brother, was an administrator and tasked with supervising the day-to-day operations of the various narcotics distribution points within Barbosa and Sierra Linda housing projects, and other locations throughout Puerto Rico.
The indictment also contained forfeiture allegations for $100 million money judgment. The defendants and their co-conspirators disguised the true nature of their narcotics proceeds by laundering their profits through purchase of various luxury items, including real estate properties, race cars, motor vehicles, vessels and businesses, through the use of “straw owners”.
“This conviction sends a clear message that the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico will aggressively prosecute violent drug trafficking organizations who undermine the quality of life in Puerto Rico, and intimidate and hold communities hostage through their indiscriminate use of violence,” said U.S. Attorney Rodríguez-Vélez.
Senior US District Judge Juan Pérez-Giménez scheduled the sentencing for August 8.
The case was investigated by the FBI; Drug Enforcement Administration; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Internal Revenue Service; and Puerto Rico Police Department, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy Henwood, Jenifer Y. Hernández-Vega, Olga Castellón and Assistant U.S. Attorney Maritza González under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program.