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News Release
November 17, 2005

DEA HIDTA Fajardo Seizes $360,000 U.S. Currency

$360,000 found buried in backyard
$360,000 found buried in backyard

NOV 17 -- RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico (PR) - Jerome M. Harris, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Caribbean Division, announced today that agents from the DEA High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Fajardo, PR Office seized $360,000.00 buried in the backyard of the former residence of deceased suspected drug trafficker Luis ESCOBAR-Ortiz in Rio Grande, PR. ESCOBAR-Ortiz was murdered on September 24, 2005 in Rio Piedras, PR. Puerto Rico Police (PRPD) Homicide Division suspects ESCOBAR-Ortiz murder was related to his drug trafficking activities.

The DEA HIDTA Fajardo Office received information about the existence of a large amount of U.S. Currency hidden in ESCOBAR-Ortiz former residence in Rio Grande, PR which was proceeds from his drug trafficking activities. On November 15, 2005 agents from the DEA HIDTA Fajardo Office conducted an extensive search of the residence which resulted in the seizure of a large amount of U.S. currency concealed in a surplus military ammunition box and buried near the residence. The money was later counted by a financial institution and totaled $360,000.00.

The DEA HIDTA Fajardo Office is a joint task force of agents from the DEA, the PPRD, and the Puerto Rico Justice Department’s Special Investigations Bureau (NIE). For more information on DEA programs, special agent career opportunities, drug and prevention information visit our website at www.dea.gov.


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