News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 06, 2009
For Information Contact:
Waldo P. Santiago
Public Information Officer
787-277-4700

Two VIPD Officers and a Local Man Arrested on Obstruction of Justice, Extortion, Bribery and Other Charges

A DEA Special Agent and a Deputy U.S. Marshal escort VIPD Captain Enrique Saldana.
A DEA Special Agent and a Deputy U.S. Marshal escort VIPD Captain Enrique Saldana.

AUG 06 - Virgin Islands Police Captain Enrique Saldana, 46, and Police Sergeant George Greene, Jr., 33, and a local man Louis Roldan, Jr. have been arrested after a federal grand jury on St. Thomas returned an 11-count indictment against them, United States Attorney Paul A. Murphy, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Luis Fraticelli, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Javier F. Peña, United States Marshal James M. Sullivan, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division (IRS CID) Special Agent in Charge Daniel W. Auer, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) Inspector in Charge David Collins announced today.

The indictment charges all three men with six federal offenses and five Virgin Islands offenses. The federal offenses charged are conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice, obstruction of a criminal investigation, conspiracy to defraud the United States by impeding the functions of the DEA, conspiracy to commit extortion, and extortion. The Virgin Islands offenses charged are conspiratorial extortion, conflict of interest, and solicitation and receipt of a bribe; extortion under color of official right; conflict of interest; solicitation and receipt of a bribe, and unauthorized possession of a firearm.

U.S. Attorney Murphy said that while the VIPD has good and faithful police officers, police corruption taint the entire VIPD. “Anyone engaged in such conduct should be on notice that such criminal conduct will be fully investigated and prosecuted by federal law enforcement and the U.S. Department of Justice,” Murphy said. “This indictment and the previous indictment against VIPD Officer Jerome Blyden are the results of months of investigative work by an ongoing federal task force conducting a probe into police corruption within the VIPD.”

A joint DEA-FBI RICO investigation results in the arrest of VIPD Sgt Jerome Blyden.
A joint DEA-FBI RICO investigation results in the arrest of VIPD Sgt Jerome Blyden.

DEA Special Agent in Charge Peña said: “DEA prides itself on ethics and we have taken a proactive role to help restore public trust in law enforcement in the Virgin Island community.”

“I am pleased to provide support to our fellow federal law enforcement partners within the Department of Justice – the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration on this significant public corruption case,” U.S. Marshal Sullivan said. “I believe today’s arrests prove that we will make every effort to ensure the public maintains full confidence in those trusted to protect them.”

USPIS Inspector in Charge Collins said: “The results of this task force’s efforts are a testament to the dedication of federal agents posted in the Virgin Islands. The United States Postal Inspection Service is committed to upholding the law in the USVI and Postal Inspectors will continue to work with all federal and local law enforcement agencies to honor that commitment.”

“This case shows that no one is above the law,” said IRS CID Special Agent in Charge Auer. “Crimes committed by police officers violate the public trust. The Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, is committed to working with the task force to prosecute those officers who violate the laws they were sworn to protect.”

“When men are pure, laws are not required; when men are corrupt, laws are broken,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Fraticelli said. “The FBI will continue to aggressively pursue corruption at all levels.”

The indictment alleges that the defendants’ criminal conduct began on or about December 4, 2008, when VIPD police officers seized a rental vehicle from the Paul M. Pearson Housing Community (PMP). In addition to seizing the vehicle, the VIPD confiscated all of its contents, including personal items belonging to the Individual using the vehicle at the time (hereafter the “Individual”) and approximately one kilogram of a substance believed by VIPD officials to be a controlled substance.

The indictment alleges that on or about December 5, 2008, when the Individual and the person in whose name the car was rented went to VIPD offices to retrieve the confiscated items, they were instructed by a police official to contact Defendant Saldana. The police official also told the individual that the official and others knew what was in the car, referring to the substance suspected to be a controlled substance. On that same day, the Individual received a telephone call from Defendant Saldana about arranging a meeting for the return of the confiscated items. The Individual did not meet with Defendant Saldana at that time.

The indictment alleges that on or about December 18, 2008, Defendant Roldan contacted the Individual and told the Individual that for the payment of $10,000 cash, the substance believed to be a controlled substance by VIPD would not be turned over to law enforcement, and the Individual would not be reported to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force, or the DEA. The Individual had other telephone conversations with Defendants Greene and Roldan regarding the return of the confiscated items. Many of the telephone calls were recorded. The indictment alleges that on or about December 23, 2008, the Individual met with Defendant Roldan at an agreed upon location, and Defendants Saldana and Greene also appeared at the meeting in separate vehicles. The Individual discussed with Defendants Greene and Roldan arrangements for the payment of cash with respect to the confiscated items. Subsequently, the Individual and Defendant Roldan engaged in further telephone conversations regarding the amount of money that the individual would pay with respect to the controlled substance. Ultimately, it was agreed that the Individual would pay $5,000 cash, and it would be paid in the Frenchtown area of St. Thomas. In the evening of December 23, 2008, the Individual met Defendants Roldan and Greene in the Frenchtown area of St. Thomas and paid them $5,000.00 cash. In exchange, the Individual received the items confiscated from the rental vehicle except the controlled substance, which was not returned to the Individual. However, for the payment of the $5,000 cash, the Individual was assured that the controlled substance seized from the rental vehicle would not be turned over to federal law enforcement authorities.

The federal police corruption task force comprises the FBI, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service, IRS CID, and the USPIS. U.S. Attorney Murphy asks that anyone -- citizen or member of the VIPD -- who has information related to police corruption to call the task force at (340) 715-6516.

If convicted, the three men face prison time and fines ranging from 1 to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 to $15,000 fine for unauthorized possession of a firearm to not more than 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine for conspiracy to obstruct justice. They also face restitution and criminal forfeiture.

An indictment is merely a formal charging document and is not evidence of guilt. Every Defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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