News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2007

DEA Cracks Drug Trafficking Organization in Fajardo, Puerto Rico
Hidta-Psn-Ocdetf Operation “El Pop Corn” Results In 15 Arrests

APR 16 -- FAJARDO, Puerto Rico – Jerome M. Harris, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Caribbean Division, and Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto announced today the indictment of 16 individuals and the arrests of 15 of those indicted for distribution of cocaine, crack-cocaine, and heroin within the Pedro Rosario Nieves Public Housing Project in Fajardo, Puerto Rico and possessing firearms while conducting drug trafficking activities..

On April 11, 2007, a Federal Grand Jury returned three two-counts indictments charging defendants CARLOS SEÑERIZ-ORTIZ, aka “Carlitos”; DENIS OMAR LOPEZ-PEREIRA, aka “Omar Drupi”, aka “Drupi”; EMARC PACHECO-CORREA, aka “El Negrito”; ANGEL JAVIER VAZQUEZ-MEDINA, aka “Javish”; JOSUE RIVERA-RAMOS; MELVIN DIAZ-TORRES; JUAN LUIS CALDERON-PACHECO; ALEXANDER CARIÑO-TORRES; ZAMYRA I. GERENA-CARBALLO; JOSE LUIS MORALES-HERNANDEZ, MARIA MILAGROS HERNANDEZ-RODRIGUEZ; ERNESTO J. ROSA-LOPEZ and CARMEN QUILES-MELENDEZ , with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fifty (50) grams or more of cocaine base (crack) within one thousand (1,000) feet of the Pedro Rosario Nieves Public Housing Project or a public elementary school. The defendants have been charged with violations of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2, and Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841, 846, and 860. ANA I. FUENTES-O’NEILL and CARLOS H. PAGAN-O’NEILL, were arrested on April 3, 2007, and changed with possession with intent to distribute fifty (50) grams or more of cocaine base.

A Federal Grand Jury also returned a three-count Indictment charging defendants CARLOS LOPEZ-PEREIRA, aka Carly; JOSUE RIVERA-RAMOS; MELVIN DIAZ-TORRES; and JUAN LUIS CALDERON-PACHECO, with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 4.7 grams of heroin within one thousand (1,000) feet of a public housing project. DENIS OMAR LOPEZ-PEREIRA, aka “Omar Drupi”, aka “Drupi” was also charged with possession with intent to distribute a measurable amount of cocaine base (crack) within one thousand (1,000) feet of the Vista del Mar Housing Project, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico and with possession of a firearm, in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 924, and 2, and Title 21, United States Code, Section 841.

Carlos SENERIZ-Ortiz remains fugitive and is being sought by the U.S. Marshals Service Puerto Rico Fugitive Task Force. The remaining defendants where arrested today. These arrests are the result of a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area’s DEA Fajardo Office investigation in support of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Fajardo Strike Force, a Project Safe Neighborhood initiative targeting violent criminal activity on the eastern part of Puerto Rico . This investigation was conducted under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Program, lead by the DEA, with collaboration from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Puerto Rico Police and the Puerto Rico Justice Department’s Special Investigations Bureau. The OCDETF operation was named “El Pop Corn” since the traffickers referred to crack cocaine as popped corn when selling it.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dina Avila-Jiménez of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Fajardo Strike Force. The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial and the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

OCDETF Operation El Pop Corn chart