June 07, 2016
Contact: Erin Mulvey
Phone Number: (212) 337-2906
Racketeering Kingpin Pleads Guilty In Manhattan Federal Court
Manuel Geovanny Rodriguez-Perez admits responsibility for nine murders, 10 attempted murders, marijuana trafficking, money laundering, and other charges
NEW YORK - Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today a plea of guilty by Manuel Geovanny Rodriguez-Perez, a/k/a “Shorty,” to his role as a leader of a massive and violent racketeering (the “Rodriguez Enterprise”) whose members sold large quantities of marijuana, murdered and attempted to murder nearly 20 people, transported and laundered millions of dollars, obstructed justice and committed perjury, and engaged in firearms offenses. Rodriguez-Perez was previously charged in connection with “Operation Green Venom,” a coordinated multi-agency investigation and first announced in October 2010. In a proceeding today before U.S. District Judge Laura T. Swain, Rodriguez-Perez entered a plea of guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy, and accepted responsibility for dozens of illegal acts associated with that conspiracy, including nine murders and 10 attempted murders in the United States and the Dominican Republic.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “As he admitted in court today, Manuel Geovanny Rodriguez-Perez was responsible for the murders of nine people, the attempted murders of 10 more, and numerous other criminal acts. Rodriguez-Perez’s years-long reign of terror ended with his arrest nearly six years ago. His public admissions to his crimes and his ultimate sentence hopefully will provide some closure to the victims of Rodriguez-Perez’s brutal violence.”
According to the terms of his plea, Rodriguez-Perez acknowledged his leadership role in a wide range of criminal activity, including his responsibility for the murders of the following victims:
- Francisco Perez, a/k/a “Francie,” on October 26, 1997
- Antonio Kasse, a/k/a “Toasty,” on December 13, 1998
- FNU LNU, a/k/a “Carlos Valentin,” a/k/a “Campi,” in or about 2000
- Noel Herrera, on December 29, 2001
- Kelly Perez, a/k/a “Red,” on September 16, 2002
- Marino Molina, on January 11, 2003
- Wilfredo Molina, a/k/a “Willie,” on May 3, 2004
- Manuel Rivas, a/k/a “Tony el Mono,” on October 29, 2005
- Richard Cabrera, a/k/a “Bori,” on January 16, 2006
Noel Herrera, Marino Molina, and Manuel Rivas were each murdered by or at the command of Rodriguez-Perez in the Dominican Republic. Wilfredo Molina was murdered at the command of Rodriguez-Perez in New Jersey, and the remaining victims were murdered in New York City.
The maximum potential sentence for Count One of the Superseding Indictment, to which Rodriguez-Perez pleaded guilty today, is life in prison. The maximum potential sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Additionally, Rodriguez-Perez agreed to pay $25 million as a forfeiture penalty, which is the approximate amount of gross proceeds received by Rodriguez-Perez derived from racketeering activities, properties in New York, Florida, and the Dominican Republic, and cash and jewelry seized by law enforcement officers.
Rodriguez-Perez, 43, has been in federal custody since October 15, 2010, when he was arrested during a takedown of more than 50 members of a massive marijuana trafficking ring that transported ton-quantities of marijuana from Florida and California for distribution in the greater New York area from the early 1990s to 2010. Rodriguez-Perez is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Swain on October 25, 2016, at 2:00 p.m.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security (“ICE HSI”) and the DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force. He also thanked the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bergen County, New Jersey, Prosecutor’s Office, the Englewood, New Jersey, Police Department, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the New York City Department of Investigation for their assistance, and added that the investigation is continuing. The New York Drug Enforcement Task Force comprises agents and officers of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration-New York Division, the New York City Police Department and the New York State Police.
The investigation and prosecution of the cases arising from “Operation Green Venom” has been overseen by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew C. Adams and Micah W.J. Smith are responsible for the prosecution.