Four Active Police Officers And One Retired Sergeant Of The Police Of Puerto Rico Indicted And Arrested For Obstruction Of Justice
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – On December 19, a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned a 23-count indictment against five defendants charged with obstruction of justice, perjury and false statements, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is in charge of the investigation.
On February 1, 2010, police officers from the PRPD Caguas Drug Division arrested three males at a residence located in Juncos, PR. The police officers seized drugs, money and a weapon located inside the residence. The officers lied about material facts on what they saw, who they saw, and the actions the three individuals had undertaken.
According to the indictment, on or about February 2010, defendants Miguel Brenes-Concepción, Ángel A. Reyes-Agosto, Roberto Gonzàlez-Rivera, Juan Rivera-Ocasio, and Reimundo Quiñonez-Castro, police officers, engaged in misleading conduct toward DEA and FBI agents by providing false information concerning what occurred during the arrest and seizure of the three individuals. This misleading conduct was intended to hinder, delay, and prevent the communication to law enforcement officers and Judge of the United States of information relating to the commission and possible commission of a Federal offense, namely, the deprivation of constitutional rights.
The defendants also testified before the Grand Jury of the US District Court for the District of Puerto Rico and knowingly made false declarations in relation to the original investigation against the three individuals. As part of that investigation, the Grand Jury needed to know the circumstances surrounding the seizure of various items that day, the defendants’ interactions with the individuals arrested, and the observations concerning the interactions of other police officers with the individuals arrested.
“Law enforcement officers who use their badges as a shield to deprive citizens of their constitutional rights, and subsequently engage in misleading conduct to cover up their actions, are not protecting our citizens, they are abusing the trust of those they have sworn to serve,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. “The Justice Department will continue to aggressively prosecute officers who abuse their power in this manner.”
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney José Contreras. If convicted, the defendants could face up to 20 years in prison.