Six Individuals Arrested in DEA Reverse Undercover Operation
AUG 19 -- SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico. - Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico announced today that a complaint was filed yesterday against Luis Antonio Castillo Soto , Omar Ruz Franco, Carlos Rivera Vizcarrondo, Jonathan Ruz Franco, Luis Sánchez Colón and Victor Geraldo Santiago Ortiz for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, and attempt to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. The defendants were arrested on August 16 in Luquillo, Puerto Rico; after they attempted to complete a six-hundred-thousand-dollar ($600,000) drug transaction with a DEA undercover agent announced Javier F. Peña, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Caribbean Division.
This investigation, led by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) started in July, 2010. A DEA undercover officer met with Luis Antonio Castillo Soto on July 20 to negotiate the sale and purchase of 150 kilograms of cocaine for a price of sixteen thousand dollars ($16,000) per kilogram, for a total of two million four hundred thousand dollars ($2,400,000). On August 16, Castillo Soto, along with the other five defendants, arrived at the kiosks located in Luquillo, PR, in order to purchase the 138 kilograms of cocaine that he agreed to buy from the undercover officer.
Luis Antonio Castillo Soto indicated to the undercover officer that the money to purchase the narcotics was in his vehicle but that he had only brought $600,000 in cash; the remaining $1.8 million were being transported to the location. The other defendants assisted Castillo Soto during the transaction. As soon as the undercover officer received the money, the arrests were executed.
“The investigation into this undercover drug transaction continues. We commend the DEA for their successful operation and arrest of these individuals. We will not allow drug traffickers to carry on their illegal activities in our community,” said U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Vélez.
“There is no reverse on DEA’s persistent attack to drug trafficking at all levels.” said Javier F. Peña, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Caribbean Division
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Torriente is prosecuting the case. If convicted, the defendants could face up to life in prison. The detention and bail hearings are scheduled for Friday, August 20, at 9:30 AM. Defendants remain in custody.
A criminal complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.