Press Releases

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges Nine Members Of Alleged Racketeering Organization With Multiple Murders And Attempted Murders, Marijuana Trafficking, Money Laundering, And Other Offenses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 21, 2012

40-Count Superseding Indictment Filed in Connection With “Operation Green Venom,”
A Multi-Agency Law Enforcement Investigation

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, James T. Hayes, Jr., the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (“ICE”) Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), and Raymond W. Kelly, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York (“NYPD”), announced today the unsealing of a 40-count Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations Indictment (the “RICO Indictment”) charging nine individuals with participating in the “Rodriguez Enterprise,” a massive racketeering organization whose members allegedly sold large quantities of marijuana; engaged in murders and other violent acts; transported and laundered millions of dollars; obstructed justice and committed perjury; and engaged in firearms offenses.  The RICO Indictment was filed in connection with “Operation Green Venom,” a coordinated multi-agency investigation that was led by ICE HSI and first announced in October 2010.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “As alleged, these nine defendants were part of a sweeping enterprise that has the blood of six people on its hands and that trafficked in tons of marijuana, laundered millions of dollars, and obstructed justice.  Thanks to the continued dedication and commitment of our law enforcement partners, we are now able to bring them to justice.”   

ICE HSI Special Agent-in-Charge James T. Hayes, Jr., said: “This organization allegedly placed their goal of profiting from the mass distribution of narcotics throughout New York City above all else, most importantly the regard for human life.  Today’s announcement should serve as a reminder that law enforcement collaboration to combat narcotics trafficking and distribution is greater than ever.”

NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said: “This indictment illustrates the grim nexus between illegal drug sales, money laundering and deadly violence.  We remain committed to working with our federal law enforcement partners to continue our efforts to rid the city of these violent criminals.”

The following allegations are based on the RICO Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court.

MANUEL GEOVANNY RODRIGUEZ-PEREZ (“MANUEL RODRIGUEZ”) is the leader of the Rodriguez Enterprise.  He is charged with five murders and five attempted murders, including the murders of the following victims: 

  • Francisco Perez, a/k/a “Francie,” on October 26, 1997
  • Antonio Kasse, a/k/a “Toasty,” on December 13, 1998
  • FNU LNU, a/k/a “Carlos Valentin,” a/k/a “Campi,” in 2000
  • Wilfredo Molina, a/k/a “Willie,” on May 3, 2004
  • Richard Cabrera, a/k/a “Bori,” on January 16, 2006

Other charges against MANUEL RODRIGUEZ include: trafficking in marijuana from 1992 through 2010; laundering money in New York, Florida, and the Dominican Republic; perjury; obstruction of justice; and firearms charges.  MANUEL RODRIGUEZ has been in federal custody since October 15, 2010.

ORLANDO RODRIGUEZ, MANUEL RODRIGUEZ’s younger brother, is also charged with the murder of “Carlos Valentin,” and an attempted murder in 1996, as well as racketeering, marijuana trafficking, and money laundering.  ORLANDO RODRIGUEZ was arrested in the Dominican Republic on August 16, 2012, and is detained pending his extradition.

FELIPE CANTRES-SANJURJO (“FELIPE CANTRES”) is charged with the murders of Wilfredo Molina and Richard Cabrera, as well as racketeering, marijuana trafficking, and two attempted murders.  FELIPE CANTRES was transferred from local to federal custody in Puerto Rico today.

MIGUEL CANTRES-SANJURJO (“MIGUEL CANTRES”), FELIPE CANTRES’s cousin, is charged with the murder of Jose Caba on July 14, 2003, and the murder of Wilfredo Molina, as well as racketeering conspiracy, marijuana trafficking, and an attempted murder.  MIGUEL CANTRES is currently in federal custody in connection with a Southern District of New York robbery conviction.

JOSE MANUEL ESPINAL is charged in the Racketeering Indictment with racketeering, money laundering conspiracy, and two instances of obstruction of justice.  ESPINAL was previously arrested in connection with money laundering charges in December 2011.

JESUS SANCHEZ is charged with racketeering, marijuana trafficking, money laundering conspiracy, and firearms offenses.  SANCHEZ has been in federal custody since October 15, 2010.

JOSE A. RODRIGUEZ, the older brother of MANUEL RODRIGUEZ and ORLANDO RODRIGUEZ, is charged with racketeering, marijuana trafficking, money laundering conspiracy, and firearms offenses.  JOSE A. RODRIGUEZ has been in federal custody since October 15, 2010.

OSCAR RODRIGUEZ, a cousin of the RODRIGUEZ brothers, is charged with racketeering conspiracy and marijuana trafficking offenses.  OSCAR RODRIGUEZ was previously arrested in connection with marijuana trafficking charges on October 14, 2010.

THEODORE JONES is charged with racketeering conspiracy and marijuana trafficking.  JONES is currently serving a sentence for an unrelated narcotics conviction.

Defendants MANUEL RODRIGUEZ, JOSE A. RODRIGUEZ, OSCAR RODRIGUEZ, and JESUS SANCHEZ were arrested during an October 2010 takedown of more than 50 members of a massive marijuana trafficking ring that transported ton-quantities of marijuana from Florida and California for distribution in the greater New York area from the early 1990’s to 2010.  In addition to the defendants charged in the Racketeering Indictment, the defendants arrested during that takedown included Roc-A-Fella Records founder Kareem Burke, who was sentenced to five years in prison on June 4, 2012. 

The Racketeering Indictment seeks forfeiture of  $25 million, which is the approximate amount of gross proceeds received by the defendants in connection with their activities; at least nine separate properties in New York and in Florida; and over $500,000 in cash and nearly 40 pieces of jewelry that were previously seized from the defendants.

                                                *                      *                      *

All nine defendants are currently in custody or are out on bail in connection with a previous arrest.  The charges against each defendant and the corresponding maximum potential penalties, as well as age and residency information are outlined in the charts attached to this press release.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of ICE HSI and the NYPD.  He also thanked the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service; the Bergen County, New Jersey Prosecutor’s Office; the Englewood, New Jersey, Police Department; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; and the City of New York Department of Investigation for their assistance. Mr. Bharara added that the investigation is continuing.

The prosecution of the cases arising from “Operation Green Venom” is being overseen by the Office’s Violent Crimes Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amie N. Ely, Sarah E. McCallum, Jessica Ortiz, and Sarah Paul are in charge of the prosecution.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Lockard is responsible for the forfeiture proceedings.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

U.S. v. Manuel Geovanny Rodriguez-Perez, et al. (S31 10 Cr. 905 (LTS)

Count Defendants Charge Maximum Penalties
1 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ FELIPE CANTRES JOSE MANUEL ESPINAL JOSE A. RODRIGUEZ ORLANDO RODRIGUEZ JESUS SANCHEZ Racketeering (see chart below for details) Life imprisonment
2 All Defendants Racketeering conspiracy Life imprisonment
3 All Defendants Except JOSE MANUEL ESPINAL Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 1000 kilograms of marijuana and more Life imprisonment, mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison
4 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ Murder of Francisco Perez in aid of racketeering Mandatory life imprisonment or the death penalty
5 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ Murder of Francisco Perez while engaged in narcotics trafficking Life imprisonment or the death penalty; mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison
6 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ Murder of Francisco Perez with firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime Life imprisonment or the death penalty
7 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ Murder of Antonio Kasse in aid of racketeering Mandatory life imprisonment or the death penalty
8 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ Murder of Antonio Kasse while engaged in narcotics trafficking Life imprisonment or the death penalty; mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison
9 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ Murder of Antonio Kasse with firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime Life imprisonment or the death penalty
10 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ ORLANDO RODRIGUEZ Murder of FNU LNU in aid of racketeering Mandatory life imprisonment (as to both) or the death penalty (as to MANUEL RODRIGUEZ only)
11 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ ORLANDO RODRIGUEZ Murder of FNU LNU while engaged in narcotics trafficking Life imprisonment or the death penalty; mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison
12 MIGUEL CANTRES Murder of Jose Caba with firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime Life imprisonment or the death penalty
13 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ FELIPE CANTRES MIGUEL CANTRES Murder of Wilfredo Molina in aid of racketeering Mandatory life imprisonment or the death penalty
14 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ FELIPE CANTRES MIGUEL CANTRES Conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire of Wilfredo Molina Life imprisonment or the death penalty
15 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ FELIPE CANTRES MIGUEL CANTRES Murder-for-hire of Wilfredo Molina Life imprisonment or the death penalty
16 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ FELIPE CANTRES MIGUEL CANTRES Murder of Wilfredo Molina while engaged in narcotics trafficking Life imprisonment or the death penalty; mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison
17 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ FELIPE CANTRES MIGUEL CANTRES Murder of Wilfredo Molinawith firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime Life imprisonment or the death penalty
18 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ FELIPE CANTRES   Murder of Richard Cabrera in aid of racketeering Mandatory life imprisonment or the death penalty
19 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ FELIPE CANTRES Conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire of Richard Cabrera Life imprisonment or the death penalty
20 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ FELIPE CANTRES Murder-for-hire of Richard Cabrera Life imprisonment or the death penalty
21 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ FELIPE CANTRES Murder of Richard Cabrera while engaged in narcotics trafficking Life imprisonment or the death penalty; mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison
22 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ FELIPE CANTRES Murder of Richard Cabrera with firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime Life imprisonment or the death penalty
23 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ FELIPE CANTRES   Conspiracy to Murder “Victim-6” in aid of racketeering Maximum of 10 years in prison
24 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ Attempt to Murder “Victim-6” in aid of racketeering Maximum of 10 years in prison
25 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ Assault of  “Victim-6” in aid of racketeering Maximum of 20 years in prison
26 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ JOSE A. RODRIGUEZ JESUS SANCHEZ Money laundering conspiracy Maximum of 20 years in prison
27 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ JESUS SANCHEZ Bank fraud conspiracy Maximum of 30 years in prison
28 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ JOSE MANUEL ESPINAL Money laundering conspiracy Maximum of 20 years in prison
29 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ ORLANDO RODRIGUEZ Money laundering conspiracy Maximum of 20 years in prison
30 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ ORLANDO RODRIGUEZ Travel in interstate and foreign commerce in aid of racketeering Maximum of five years in prison
31 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ ORLANDO RODRIGUEZ Travel in interstate and foreign commerce in aid of racketeering Maximum of five years in prison
32 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ ORLANDO RODRIGUEZ Travel in interstate and foreign commerce in aid of racketeering Maximum of five years in prison
33 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ JOSE A. RODRIGUEZ JESUS SANCHEZ Travel in interstate commerce in aid of racketeering Maximum of five  years in prison
34 JOSE MANUEL ESPINAL Obstruction of justice Maximum of 20 years in prison
35 JOSE MANUEL ESPINAL Conspiracy to obstruct justice Maximum of 20 years in prison
36 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ Obstruction of justice Maximum of 20 years in prison
37 JOSE MANUEL ESPINAL Obstruction of justice Maximum of 20 years in prison
38 JOSE MANUEL ESPINAL Conspiracy to obstruct justice Maximum of 20 years in prison
39 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ False statements Maximum of five years in prison
40 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ JOSE A. RODRIGUEZ ORLANDO RODRIGUEZ JESUS SANCHEZ Use, carrying, and possession of firearms during and in relation to and in furtherance of racketeering Maximum life imprisonment; mandatory minimum of five, seven, or 10 years in prison

 

U.S. v. Manuel Geovanny Rodriguez-Perez, et al.
(S31 10 Cr. 905 (LTS)
Predicate Acts to Racketeering Charge (Count One)

Predicate Act Defendants Charge
1 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ JOSE A. RODRIGUEZ ORLANDO RODRIGUEZ JESUS SANCHEZ

Marijuana conspiracy

2 ORLANDO RODRIGUEZ

Attempted murder of “Victim-1”

3 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ

Murder and conspiracy to murder Francisco Perez

4 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ

Murder and conspiracy to murder Antonio Kasse and attempted murder of “Victim-2”

5 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ

Attempted murder and conspiracy to murder “Victim-3”

6 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ ORLANDO RODRIGUEZ

Murder and conspiracy to murder Fnu Lnu

7 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ FELIPE CANTRES

Murder and conspiracy to murder Wilfredo Molina

8 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ

Attempted murder and conspiracy to murder “Victim-4”

9 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ FELIPE CANTRES

Murder and conspiracy to murder Richard Cabrera

10 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ FELIPE CANTRES

Attempted murder and conspiracy to murder “Victim-5”

11 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ FELIPE CANTRES

Attempted murder and conspiracy to murder “Victim-6”

12 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ JOSE A. RODRIGUEZ JESUS SANCHEZ

Money laundering conspiracy/ Bank fraud/ Travel in interstate and foreign commerce in aid of racketeering

13 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ JOSE MANUEL ESPINAL

Money laundering conspiracy

14 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ JOSE A. RODRIGUEZ ORLANDO RODRIGUEZ

Money laundering conspiracy/ Travel in interstate and foreign commerce in aid of racketeering

15 JESUS SANCHEZ

Obstruction of justice/ Conspiracy to obstruct justice

16 MANUEL RODRIGUEZ

Obstruction of justice

17 JESUS SANCHEZ

Obstruction of justice/ Conspiracy to obstruct justice

 

Defendant Age Residence
MANUEL GEOVANNY RODRIGUEZ-PEREZ 39 New York, New York
FELIPE CANTRES-SANJURJO 29 Bayamon, Puerto Rico
MIGUEL CANTRES-SANJURJO 30 New York, New York
JOSE MANUEL ESPINAL 47 Rye Brook, New York
THEODORE JONES 39 New York, New York
JOSE A. RODRIGUEZ 46 Bronx, New York
ORLANDO RODRIGUEZ 36 La Vega, Dominican Republic
OSCAR RODRIGUEZ 35 Bronx, New York
JESUS SANCHEZ 50 Miami, Florida

 

 

 

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