TASK FORCE ARRESTS 15 MEMBERS
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Guillermo Gil, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico and Rogelio Guevara, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Caribbean Field Division, announced today the arrest of 15 members of a cocaine distribution organization based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The investigation, conducted by the DEA Task Force, revealed that its members were involved in the distribution of large quantities of cocaine, marijuana and heroin throughout the metropolitan area of San Juan, PR. This organization also extended its distribution activities to the Municipality of Arecibo. The organization was also engaged in the transportation of cocaine to New York and had ties to Colombian and Dominican drug traffickers. The DEA Task Force investigation, which was initiated in September of 1999, identified Luis FORNIA-Castillo alias El Viejo as the leader of this organization.
Today, in a pre-dawn enforcement operation, a contingent of over 100 federal and local law enforcement agents executed the 15 arrest warrants. The arrest warrants were issued on August 1, 2001, pursuant to a Federal Grand Jury indictment charging the members of the organization with violations to the Federal Controlled Substances Act. The 15 arrests were simultaneously executed in San Juan, Guaynabo, Canovanas, Bayamon, Arecibo and Carolina. The DEA Task Force includes Agents from the Puerto Rico Police Department, the Puerto Rico Special Investigations Bureau (NIE) and Puerto Rico Treasury Department (Hacienda). The Puerto Rico National Guard Counterdrug Support Task Force provided logistical and air support to the operation.
The arrested individuals are: Luis B. FORNIA-Castillo alias El Viejo, Juan A. AMARO-Rivera alias Bony, Felix NUÑEZ-Molina, Osvaldo VILLEGAS-Rivera, Miguel TORO-Hernaiz alias Papolo, Joe N. MALDONADO-Hernandez alias Jibaro, Orlando RODRIGUEZ-Rodriguez alias Flocho, Jose N. ROSA-Figueroa alias Berto, Angel L. AMARO-Velazquez alias Lito, Carlos BENITEZ-Rodriguez alias Carlos Canales, Orlando Javier RODRIGUEZ-Vazquez, Angel L. ROSA-Rivera alias Sea Hunt, Hector RIVERA-Lind alias Casquetin, Lesean HERRON-Suarez, and Vanessa RODRIGUEZ-Lozada. The indictment is an accusation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty at trial.