News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2010
Contact: SA Waldo Santiago
Public Information Officer
Number: (787) 277-4700

DEA Investigation Ends With 66 Individuals Indicted For Drug Trafficking In The Municipality of Cidra
Forfeiture Allegation for One Million Dollars

DEA and PRPD agents execute arrest warrants at the Praxedes Santiago public housing project during the operation.

DEA and PRPD agents execute arrest warrants at the Praxedes Santiago public housing project during the operation.

JUN 25 -- San Juan , PR) – On June 22, 2010, a federal grand jury indicted sixty-six (66) individuals as a result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), announced today Javier F. Pena, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Caribbean Division and United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. Fifty (50) defendants were arrested today. The defendants are charged in a five-count indictment with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, crack, cocaine, marijuana, Percocet and Xanax, and forfeiture allegations for one million dollars ($1,000,000) and properties.

Defendant Juan M. Rodríguez Del Valle, aka “Cuajo,” became the main leader of the drug trafficking organization after the death of Aristides Ramos Rosado, aka “Junito,” Alexander Ramos Rosado, aka “Legar,” and Javier Meléndez Luna, aka “Piniqui.” The s ixty-six (66) co-conspirators had many roles, in order to further the goals of the conspiracy, including: one (1) leader, five (5) drug owners/supervisors, three (3) enforcers, seven (7) runners, thirty-eight (38) sellers and thirteen (13) facilitators.

Defendant number two in the indictment is a female, Barbara Garced García, who owned the operation that sold crack at Praxedes Santiago public housing project along with the third defendant, Alexis Rosario Luna, her husband or consensual partner. Ariel Torres Ocasio, aka “Arielito,” aka “Papo,” owned the right to sell marijuana after the death of Javier Melédez Luna, aka “Piniqui”. The other two drug owners/supervisors were Michael Rosario Pérez who owned the operation that sold the cocaine called “Sonic,” and Ángel A. Ramos Collazo, aka “Ramos,” who owned the operation that sold the prescriptions drugs, Xanax and Percocet.

“DEA will continue developing investigations targeting the most violent drug trafficking organizations based who have taking over the public housing projects throughout Puerto Rico” said Javier F. Pena, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Caribbean Division “DEA resources will always be available to help Commonwealth authorities reduce the violent crime wave affecting the Island”

“Federal and state law enforcement agencies will continue their joint investigations and prosecutions of drug trafficking organizations in every town in Puerto Rico and we will not rest until our citizens can live in peace in a drug free environment,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration with significant assiatence from the PRPD. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael C. Bagge and Special Assistant United States Attorney Rosaida Meléndez Rivera.

If convicted, the defendants face a minimum of ten (10) years imprisonment and a maximum of life imprisonment, with fines of up to $4 million. Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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