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News Release

Federal Grand Jury Indicted Ten Persons on Charges of Conspiracy to Posses with Intent to Distribute Narcotics

JUL 24--H.S. García, United States Attorney, District of Puerto Rico, Jerome Harris, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Roberto G. Medina, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE) and Juan A. Flores Galarza, uerto Rico Department of Treasury (Hacienda), and Lt. Mariano Cuesta, Sweet Water City Police, Florida, announced today that on June 25, 2003 a Federal Grand Jury indicted ten (10) persons on charges of conspiracy to posses with intent to distribute narcotics. Suspects were charged with Title 21 United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), and 846.

This is a long term investigation that began on March, 2002, targeting a group of employees that used private air courier services to transport narcotics from Puerto Rico to the United States. These employees had as primary objective the transportation of kilogram quantities of heroin and cocaine from various locations in Puerto Rico for further distribution in the continental United States. Defendants offered Airborne Express transportation to the owner of narcotics for financial profit and used residences and other locations in order to package drugs in Airborne Express parcels. The Airborne Express couriers provided air bills as proof of shipping and allowed the parcel to be transported via Airborne Express airplane to a pre-determined location.

As of July 24, 2003, and as part of this undercover operation, the defendants transported a total of nine (9) kilograms of purported heroin from Puerto Rico to the United States. In addition, the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection seized thirty (30) kilograms of cocaine in the Airborne Express facilities, located at the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, which were linked to this group. The market value of narcotics transported by this group worth approximately 3 million dollars. Airborne Express assisted the federal authorities during this investigation and provided support with all their resources to allow the crackdown of this group of employees.

On June 25, 2003, the following ten (10) individuals were indicted by a Grand Jury in relation to the abovementioned charges:

  1. Carlos David García-Rivera, aka, Gordo, aka, Lechon, DOB: 6/23/67

  2. Gerald Kaiser-Santiago, aka, Gerald, DOB: 8-29-76

  3. Luis E. Gomez-Morales, aka, Fino, aka, Finito, DOB: 9-15-81

  4. Luis R. Rodriguez-Ramos, aka, Robert, DOB: 3-3-76

  5. Ivan Chapman-Thomas, aka, Chapman, DOB: 8-7-72

  6. Elizabeth Pérez-Vega, aka, Elizabeth, DOB: 12-29-70

  7. Edgar Calvo-Melendez, aka, Edgar Calvo-Febus, aka Junior, DOB: 12-04-66

  8. Jose Fuentes-Febus, aka, Joey, DOB: 7-17-68

  9. Julio Colón-Beltrán, aka, Julito, DOB: 1-28-71

  10. Hernan Cotto-Acevedo, DOB: 4-5-56

Penalties for convictions of the offenses alleged in the indictment , range from 10 years to life imprisonment, and fines up to 4 million dollars.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial and the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This is the result of a join investigation conducted by agents of the Drug Enforcements Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE), the local Department of Treasury (Hacienda), and the US Attorney’s Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Carmen Marquez.

 

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