News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 2006

Agency Contacts:
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Date: March 23, 2006 Nedy A. Carrillo
Deputy Press Officer
(787) 282-1874

DEA
Waldo Santiago
800-718-0781


ATF
Marcial O. Felix
787-773-3300

DEA HIDTA Operation Leads to 10 Arrests, 4 Automatic Weapons, 1 Kilo of Cocaine, ¼ Kilo Heroin, and 8 Pounds of Marijuana
Joint Investigation Conducted by DEA, ATF and PRPD

San Juan, Puerto Rico-H.S. GARCIA, The United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, Jerome M. Harris, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Caribbean Division, Marcial Orlando Felix, Resident Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Pedro Toledo, Superintended, Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD), announced the arrests of 10 individuals. Six (6) of these arrests are the result of a Federal Grand Jury indictment issued in the District of Puerto Rico on March 9, 2006, charging the individuals with violations of Title 21 U.S. Code, Sections 841 (a) (1), 846, and Title 18 U.S. Code, Section 2, 922 (k), (o) (1). The remaining four (4) are being charged by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Department of Justice for violations to the Commonwealth’s Controlled Substances Law.

Each individual, as indicated below faces the following charges:

1. JEAN PIERRE BAERGA-SUAREZ, one count of conspiracy to possess with intend to distribute and distribution of controlled substances, one count of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, three counts of possession with intent to distribute controlled substance; aiding and abetting, one count of possession of a firearm with a mutilated serial number; aiding and abetting, one count of possession of a machinegun and possession of a firearm with mutilated serial number.

2. ROBERTO ORTIZ-SERRANO, one count of conspiracy to possess with intend to distribute and distribution of controlled substances, one count of possession with intent to distribute controlled substance; aiding and abetting, and two counts of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.

3. CARLOS COLON-QUINTANA, aka “Abuelo”, one count of conspiracy to possess with intend to distribute and distribution of controlled substances and one count of possession with intent to distribute controlled substance; aiding and abetting.

4. JOEL DE JESUS-ROMERO, one count of conspiracy to possess with intend to distribute and distribution of controlled substances, one count of possession with intent to distribute controlled substance; aiding and abetting.

5. OSVALDO MARTINEZ, JR. aka “Joe”, one count of possession of a firearm with a mutilated serial number; aiding and abetting.

6. JOSE A. ORTIZ, aka “Junito”, one count of possession of a firearm with a mutilated serial number; aiding and abetting.

Charged by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for violating the Puerto Rico Controlled Substances Law are:

1. Anibal X. Arroyo-Cintron
2. Reynaldo J. Alvarado-Bones
3. Edgardo Torres-Bones
4. Yahaira De Jesus-Berrios

The investigation, which has been ongoing for the last two years, targeted a criminal organization engaged in the sale and distribution of drugs and firearms. The Federal Grand Jury indictment alleges that JEAN PIERRE BAERGA-SUAREZ, ROBERTO ORTIZ-SERRANO, CARLOS COLON-QUINTANA and JOEL DE JESUS-ROMERO, planned and arranged the sale of multi kilogram quantities of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana which were sold to PRPD undercover agents. In addition, these individuals engaged in the sale and possession of firearms. Four other members of the organization where charged by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for violating the Puerto Rico Controlled Substances Law.

Throughout this investigation, conducted jointly by the DEA’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, ATF and PRPD, undercover agents purchased one (1) kilogram of cocaine, ¼ kilogram of heroin, eight (8) pounds of marijuana, an M-16 rifle, an AK-47 rifle, a SKS Norino 7.62 rifle with an obliterated serial number, and a Mark II Stein 9 mm Sub-Machine Gun.

Penalties for the Federal narcotics offenses alleged in the indictment range from ten (10) years to life imprisonment and fines of up to four million dollars ($4,000,000.00).

This indictment is the result of a joint investigation conducted by agents of the Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA), High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD). On the Federal jurisdiction the case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Judith Vargas. On the Commonwealth jurisdiction the case is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Justice Department’s Guayama District Attorney’s Office.

The public is reminded that a complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial and the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.