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News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2001

DEA, BATF, AND PRPD ARRESTS SEVEN POLICE OFFICERS AND ONE CIVILIAN

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Guillermo Gil, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, Rogelio Guevara, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Caribbean Field Division, Group Supervisor Carlos Montalvo, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), and Mr. Pierre Vivoni, Superintendent of the Police of Puerto Rico, announced today the arrest of six (6) Puerto Rico Police Officers, one (1) Ponce Municipal Police Officer and one (1) civilian engaged in the distribution of cocaine and heroin and the possession of firearms during the commission of a drug trafficking crime.

This investigation was initiated in January of 2001 and was conducted jointly by the DEA and the BATF, with the assistance and full cooperation of the Puerto Rico Police Department. On August 14, 2001 a Federal Grand Jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned indictments charging these individuals with violations to Title 21 U.S. Code Section 846, Conspiracy to posses with the intent to distribute a controlled substance, and Title 18 U.S. Code Section 924( c ) (1) (A) ( i ), Carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. These Police Officers used their official position, Police uniforms, equipment and firearms to engage in the distribution of cocaine and heroin. During the investigation DEA Agents directly purchased from the Police Officers 250 grams of high purity Colombian heroin. The Police Officers also received thousands of dollars from the DEA Agents to protect and transport shipments of purported cocaine and heroin.

U.S. Attorney Gillermo Gil stated, "Fighting public corruption and drug trafficking have been my priorities as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. As I have said in the past, we will relentlessly investigate and prosecute all public officials engaged in illicit activities that threat the security and wellbeing of our citizens. In this case, these public officials, members of the Police of Puerto Rico, have violated the trusts of our citizens and have endangered the wellbeing of those same citizens they swore to protect by engaging in drug trafficking, they will pay for their crimes". Special Agent Rogelio Guevara added, "The DEA will continue its aggressive pursuit of drug traffickers at all levels and in all echelon of Puerto Rican society. With the close collaboration of the Police of Puerto Rico and other Federal agencies, such as the BATF, and with the full support of the U.S. Attorney's Office for this District, we identified and brought these drug traffickers to justice. These individuals don't deserve the honor of being called Police Officers. They stopped being Police Officers the minute they violated their oath of service". Puerto Rico Police Superintendent Pierre Vivoni stated, "My administration is committed with the People of Puerto Rico to eradicate corruption from our Police force. Once again we join efforts with the DEA, BATF and the U.S. Attorney, and will continue doing so in the future, to eradicate corruption from within the ranks of the Police of Puerto Rico. On behalf of the 19,000 honest Police Officers in our force we want to send a clear message to a few of those in our force that still refuse to get the message, we will not tolerate any act of corruption within the Police of Puerto Rico".

The arrested individuals are: Gabriel MALDONADO-Colon (PRPD), Jose L. TORRES-Jorge (PRPD), Manuel SANTIAGO-Franco (Ponce Municipal Police), Miguel ROSARIO-Diaz (Civilian), Jose Roberto MARTINEZ-Hernandez (PRPD), Wilfredo MARTINEZ-Rodriguez (PRPD), Juan LOPEZ-Roman(PRPD), and Alex J. LOPEZ-Lopez(PRPD).

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