97 in Puerto Rico Charged With Drug Trafficking
Part of Project Safe Neighborhoods Enforcement Effort
San Juan, PR – On June 22, 2018 a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned an indictment against 97 defendants charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances in the municipality of San Juan, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. The DEA and the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD), San Juan Strike Force Unit are in charge of the investigation, which is part of the US Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative.
The indictment alleges that beginning in or about 2014 these individuals distributed heroin, cocaine, marijuana, Oxycodone (commonly known as Percocet), and Alprazolam (commonly known as Xanax) all within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising a playground in the Figueroa Ward, commonly known as “La Colectora,” in the municipality of San Juan, all for significant financial gain and profit.
The 97 defendants acted in different roles: leaders, drug point owners, runners, suppliers, enforcers, drug processors, sellers, and facilitators. Thirty-one of the defendants are facing one charge of possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crime. All of the defendants are facing a narcotics forfeiture allegation of $25 million.
According to the indictment, the main drug point was located on “Blanca Street” within the Figueroa Ward. The customers would enter “Blanca Street” in their vehicles or taxis and purchase the narcotics without ever having to leave the car, much like a “drive-thru”. “Blanca Street” is also known as “la pista” (the strip).
As part of the conspiracy, armed conspirators provided security to the drug point. Members of the organization were under the rules dictated by the leaders regarding the location from where controlled substances could be sold, and how conflicts between members of the drug trafficking organization were to be handled. If those rules were broken, the leader or high-level members of the organization would use force, violence, and intimidation against the offenders in an effort to maintain order within Figueroa Ward.
DEA Caribbean Division Special Agent in Charge, A.J. Collazo stated: “For the last four years the DEA Caribbean Division has been investigating this drug trafficking organization which has been responsible for distributing and trafficking in heroin, cocaine, marijuana and opioids-prescription drugs. Today, the work and sacrifice of our agents and support personnel demonstrate once again that DEA does not rest: we will continue to disrupt and dismantle these organizations involved in the drug trade in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and worldwide. We have an important mission: to protect the lives of citizens of Puerto Rico, and to keep our communities safe.”
“This indictment and the arrests this morning are a significant victory in our efforts to combat drug trafficking and violent crime. The relentless efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies, have put a major supplier of heroin to the San Juan metro area out of business,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. “We will continue to conduct investigations with our counterparts to dismantle these criminal organizations and to send a clear message that drugs, firearms, and violence will not be tolerated in our neighborhoods.”
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly Zenón-Matos and Vanessa E. Bonhomme are in charge of the prosecution of the case. If convicted the defendants face a minimum sentence of 10 years, and 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.
The defendants are: Tomás Junior Sánchez-González, a.k.a. “Gemelo”; Johanny M. Feliciano-González; Tomás Niochard Sánchez-Feliciano, a.k.a. “Nio”; Félix A. Perrocier-García, a.k.a. “Alexis”; Daniel Salamán-Rodríguez, a.k.a. “Moi”; Rosali Maldonado-Barreto, a.k.a. “Rosa”; Walkiria Grullón-Rodríguez, a.k.a. “Walki”; Dianna González-Agosto, a.k.a. “Chilli”; Hector William Rabsatt, a.k.a. “William”; Edgardo R. García-Santos, a.k.a. “Eggui”; Ángel L. Umpierre-Ramos, a.k.a. “Bayu”; Anibal Rosado-Sánchez, a.k.a. “Andy Barber”; Bryan S. Hernández-Valcarcel; María C. Carmona-Lozada, a.k.a. “Cecilia”; Gabriel Figueroa-Pagán, a.k.a. “Gaby”; Juan G. Rodríguez-Tosado, a.k.a. “Guasi”; Steven A. Pagán-Rondón; Orlando M. Torres-Bermudez, a.k.a. “Colo/Colorau”; Johnashley Rodríguez-Tosado, a.k.a. “Jona”; José R. Matos-Ortiz, a.k.a. “Nanito”; Omar Quiñones-Rivera, a.k.a. “Bebe”; Luis A. Oquendo-Maldonado, a.k.a. “Bebo/Juan Luis Oquendo-Maldonado”; John M. Rentas-Rivera, a.k.a. “Dalmata”; Luis Daniel Soto, a.k.a. “Pito Shell”; Ruben Rivera-Chévere, a.k.a. “Goldo/Toto”; Luis N. Santiago-Medina, a.k.a. “Nike”; Olga I. Torres-Laruy; Eduardo Lacodet-León, a.k.a. “Tito Bemba/Tito Película”; Exel O. Santiago; Edgardo Martínez-Encarnación, a.k.a. “Puñeta”; Christian Febres-Gaetán, a.k.a. “Kri-Kri”; Suhali Salamán; Jennifer Santiago-Cabrera; Eliud Acosta-Rivera, a.k.a. “Yuyu”; Mario J. Cabán-León, a.k.a. “Burro/Joey”; Noris Gautier-Ríos; Domingo Castellanos-Pagán, a.k.a. “Mingo”; Kevin Román-Bonilla; Christian M. Santiago-Chittenden, a.k.a. “Cano”; Junior Tomás Sánchez-González, a.k.a. “Junior Berreta”; Bryan J. Rivera-Conde; Emmanuel Perrocier-Vázquez, a.k.a. “Manuelito”; Kenneth L. Carrasquillo-Marrero, a.k.a. “El Mellau”; Edgardo Castellano-Rivera, a.k.a. “Edgar”; Jean Paul Castellano-Rivera, a.k.a. “Jampi”; Carlos J. Meléndez-Fernández, a.k.a. “Chungo”; Carlos Meléndez-Marrero, a.k.a. “Pichon”; Jonathan Edgardo Villa-Otero, a.k.a. “Tatan Playboy”; Jonathan González-Agosto, a.k.a. “Tatan Demoni/Tatancito”; Julio C. Rosado-Lacén, a.k.a. “Cara De Vieja”; Hector A. Dávila-Encarnación, a.k.a. “Puñetita”; José L. Sierra-López, a.k.a. “Susu”; Jaime J. Baez-Torres, a.k.a. “Joel Margarita”; Otoniel Cabrera-Pérez, a.k.a. “Oto/Canales/Otoniel Castro-Pérez”; George A. Touma-Abreu, a.k.a. “Favela/George A. Tomma-Abreu”; José L. Meléndez-Ramos, a.k.a. “Karla”; Carmelo E. Rivera-Rivera, a.k.a. “Carlos Santiago”; Joel Beltrán-Rosario, a.k.a. “Joel Cuchi/Joel Beltrán-Almeida”; Josué O. Encarnación-Torres, a.k.a. “Cachito”; Jomar Rashid Torres-Torres, a.k.a. “Jomo”; Lee R. Fontanez-Monell, a.k.a. “Rashell”; Edgardo R. Lebrón-Díaz, a.k.a. “Pepón”; Jean C. Rivera-Castro, a.k.a. “Huevo”; Roberto C. Ayala-Cancel, a.k.a. “Pito”; Joshua L. Collazo, a.k.a. “Chocha”; Omar Martínez-Encarnación; FNU LNU, a.k.a. “Bombi/Ollie”; Carlos J. Caneda-Osorio, a.k.a. “Yoyo”; José Z. Ortiz-Pabón, a.k.a. “Zuriel”; Ángel D. Pimentel-Serrano, a.k.a. “Flaco”; Carlos Valladares-Pagán, a.k.a. “Litin”; Francisco Rosado-Besares, a.k.a. “Franklin/Francisco Rosado-González”; Antonio Rodríguez-Aguilar, a.k.a. “Conga”, Alexander Falcón-González, a.k.a. “Cataño”; Edwin Rodríguez-Torres, a.k.a. “Menor”; Benito Valladares-Pagán, a.k.a. “Ñame”; José A. Arzola-Sánchez, a.k.a. “Boli Fruti”; FNU LNU, a.k.a. “Jaime Canales”; Alex T. González-Alcocer, a.k.a. “Casque”; Leroy F. Pérez-Rivera; Juan N. Pagán-Encarnación, a.k.a. “Bebo”; Yadiel A. Rosario-Fontanez, a.k.a. “Cuajo”; René R. Latony-Rosado; Wendy Lee Torres; José E. Reyes-Allende, a.k.a. “Tito Tres”; FNU LNU, a.k.a. “Luis/Luis Domenech-Maldonado”; Félix L. Figueroa-Resto, a.k.a. “Tito Lágrima”; FNU LNU, a.k.a. “Chapu”; Waldemar Vega-Torres, a.k.a. “Calvo”; Christian Rodríguez-Santos; Yadiel A. Malavé-López, a.k.a. “Joker”; Sylkia Fernández-Mitchell; Tomás González-López, a.k.a. “Tomás Tomato”; Fernando Santiago-Chittenden, a.k.a. “Coscu”; Zeuleimary Ramos-Santiago, a.k.a. “Budu/La Gorda”; Dereshley Fuertes-Feliciano, a.k.a. “Dere”; and FNU LNU, a.k.a. “Yaniel”.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a federal program designed to bring together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting each community’s most violent criminals. Attorney General Sessions directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, and local law enforcement, as well as the local civilian community, to develop effective, targeted strategies to reduce violent crime. This case is a product of that collaborative effort.