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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 4, 2004

For Information Contact:
Special Agent Waldo P. Santiago
DEA Public Information Officer
787-775-1727

Mr. Orlando Rios-Walker
Deputy Public Information Officer
U.S. Attorney's Office
787-282-1821

Special Agent Elida Michaud
Public Information Officer
Internal Revenue Service
561-719-9044
787-549-0128

Nineteen Individuals Indicted in the District of Puerto Rico For Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering as a Result of a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Investigation

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - United States Attorney H.S. Garcia, District of Puerto Rico; Jerome M. Harris, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Caribbean Division, and Brian J. Wimpling, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), Miami Field Office, announced today the arrest of 11 members of a drug trafficking organization based in Puerto Rico and operating in Colombia, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Florida, and New Jersey. This investigation targeted the drug trafficking activities of AURELIANO GIRAUD-PIÑEIRO and his associates through the Caribbean and to the United States.

The complexity of this case required the cooperation of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Caribbean Division, Criminal Investigations Division of the Internal Revenue Service, Miami Field Office, and the Police of Puerto Rico 0which, on 1991, initiated the investigation of the aforementioned cocaine trafficking organization through the multi agency efforts under the command of the Ponce, Puerto Rico High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area initiative. On December 16, 2003, a federal grand jury indicted GIRAUD-PIÑEIRO, along with eighteen (18) additional codefendants, on numerous drug trafficking and money laundering charges, in violation of Title 21 USC Sections 841(a)(1), 846, 853 and 881, and in violation of Title 18 USC sections 371, 982, 1512(b), 1956(a)(1) and 1956(h). The Grand Jury indictment accuses the members of this organization with distributing over 10,000 kilograms of cocaine from Colombia through the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic to the United States through out the duration of the conspiracy. The Grand Jury indictment also seeks the criminal forfeiture of over $70,000,000.00 U.S. Dollars in illegal drug proceeds amassed by this drug trafficking organization. This amount represents cash, conveyances, properties, bank accounts, and any other assets illegally acquired by the organization from drug proceeds.

The following individuals were indicted by the Federal Grand Jury and federal arrest warrant were issued against them by a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the District of Puerto Rico:

    1. AURELIANO GIRAUD-PINEIRO
      DOB: 01-25-1940
      COLINAS DEL PALMARITO #653 HATILLO, PR 00659
    2. ELLIOT GIRAUD-PINIERO
      DOB: 07-30-1968
      JAIL-PENSACOLA, FL
    3. ANTONIO CONTRERAS
      DOB: 02-09-1952
      FUGITIVE
    4. JUAN LEON-SERRANO
      DOB: 01-12-1965
      FUGITIVE
    5. WALTER MANGUAL-SANTIAGO
      DOB:09/05/1964
      ARROYO, PR OR ORLANDO,FL
    6. SHANNON MCGRATH
      DOB: 05-29-1970
      CAOBA ST, SAN JUAN, PR
    7. CHRISTOPHER MCGRATH
      DOB: 01-28-1980
      CAOBA ST, SAN JUAN, PR
    8. JAIME MENENDEZ-TORRES
      DOB: 12-08-1960
      ISABELA, PR
    9. CARLOS CACERES-CUBERO
      DOB: 04-05-1966
      BO SAN JOSE CARR 2 KM 99.8 QUEBRADILLAS, PUERTO RICO
    10. IGNACIO PINTADO-GARCIA
      DOB: 09-28-1956
      JAIL- EGLIN FDC
    11. NILDA PINEIRO-NORIEGA
      DOB: 06-04-1944
      BO. CARRIZALES KM 1.1 ARECIBO, PR
    12. JOSE MATTEI
      DOB: 07-22-1971
      CARCEL LAS CUCHARAS, PONCE, PR
    13. RICARDO AMADOR-GONZALEZ
      DOB: 11-11-1971
      BO. PUENTE PENA CARR 435 KM 1.2 CAMUY, PR
    14. CESAR GARCIA-CRUZ
      FUGITIVE – CURRENTLY IN A DOMINICAN REPUBLIC PRISON
    15. JOSE FRANCISCO-ARROYO
      DOB: 01-31-1968
      BO. PUENTE CAR 119 RAMAL 426 K.M. 0.1 INTERIOR, CAMUY, PR
    16. FELIX GARCIA-CHERENA
      DOB: 01-07-1949
      BO SALINAS PROVIDENCIA, GUANICA, PR
    17. MARIO VELEZ-CLAUDIO
      DOB: 04-11-1969
      416 SOUTH WAY, BALTIMORE, MD
    18. DAVID ROBLES-RAMOS
      DOB: 04-12-1964
      2222 AVE CARIBE, ENSENADA, PR
    19. EFRAIN DE JESUS-GONZALEZ
      DOB: 04-02-1963
      909 BO PUENTE, CAMUY, PR 00627

Penalties for convictions of the offenses alleged in the indictment, range from ten (10) years to life imprisonment, and fines up to $4,000,000.00 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. The government has the burden of proving guilt beyond reasonable doubt. This investigation was conducted by the DEA Caribbean Division’s HIDTA Ponce Resident Office and the IRS-CID Miami Field Office, and is being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Desiree Laborde. The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Puerto Rico Police Department, the Puerto Rico Justice Department’s Special Investigations Bureau, the Puerto Rico Treasury Department and the Puerto Rico National Guard Counterdrug Support Task Force provided essential investigative and logistical support and greatly contributed to the success of this investigation. For more information on DEA visit us in the Internet at www.dea.gov.

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