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15 Individuals Indicted for Drug Trafficking

JUNE 26 (SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) – Yesterday a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned an indictment against 15 defendants charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.  The indictment is the result of a long-term investigation of a drug trafficking organization operating in the southwestern part of Puerto Rico conducted by the DEA, USPIS, and FBI as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) initiative of the United States Attorney’s Office.

According to the indictment, the object of the conspiracy was to obtain kilogram quantities of cocaine from sources in Puerto Rico for further distribution in the continental United States, all for significant financial gain and profit. It was part of the manner and means of the conspiracy that the defendants would conceal kilogram quantities of cocaine in different containers to include light bright toy boxes and would send it to the United States using the United States Postal Service; the defendants would also travel from Puerto Rico to the continental United States using commercial airlines carrying kilogram quantities of controlled substances hidden in suitcases. 

The defendants are: Elving Madera-Rivera, aka “Binchi;” Francisco Colón-Soto, aka “Moyo;” José Oliveras, aka “Topo,” José Rivera-Ramírez, aka “Berto Risa,”  Noel Acevedo-Rosado, aka “El Paramédico,” Raul Alemañy-Minguela; Eddie Bonilla-Bernard, aka “Bolillo;” Alexis Pinzon-Galindo, aka “Pinzon;” Agatha Casanova-Matias; Llamilet Seda-Ortiz, aka “La Gorda;” Dacmarie Dávila-Marrero, aka “Dagma;” Juan Luis Cardona-Cruz; Wilson Martinez-Troche, aka “Chelope;” Mayra Enid Miranda-Casiano; and Shenary Torres-Morales.

The indictment also seeks forfeiture of real estate property and money judgment of, at least, one million dollars, representing the amount of proceeds obtained as a result of the offense. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carlos R. Cardona.  If convicted, the defendants could face sentencings from 10 years up to life in prison. 

“Drug trafficking organizations must be aggressively attacked and dismantled at every level,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.  “Today we have stopped a criminal organization that was sending significant quantities of cocaine to be distributed into the United States.  The result of this operation is nothing short of significant and it underscores what the people expect from law enforcement:  keep drugs out of the streets.”

"This successful investigation is a great example of the results that are achieved when federal law enforcement, state, and the private sector work together in a combined effort.  Transporting cocaine by mail, car, and airplanes or on foot leads to only one destination, prison” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Vito S. Guarino.   “We will not allow traffickers to turn our transportation routes and mail services into cocaine highways.   As this case demonstrates it’s a dead end.” 

“The cornerstone of the mission of the Postal Inspection Service is protecting the public.” said Inspector in Charge Maria Kelokates. “Today's arrest of these individuals for the alleged offense of drug trafficking is an example of the drive and determination of Postal Inspectors to bring to justice anyone who uses the US Mail for illegal purposes.”

Indictments contain only charges and are not evidence of guilt.  Defendants are presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States; and to recommend and support non-enforcement programs aimed at reducing the availability of illicit controlled substances on the domestic and international markets.

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