Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Extradition Of Orlando Rodriguez, An Alleged Violent Member Of Racketeering Organization, From The Dominican Republic
Rodriguez’s Charges Include Murder and Attempted Murder, Marijuana Trafficking, and Money Laundering
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced today the extradition of ORLANDO RODRIGUEZ from the Dominican Republic. RODRIGUEZ was charged in August 2012 in a 40-count Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations Indictment (the “RICO Indictment”), along with eight other members of the “Rodriguez Enterprise,” an 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 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (“ICE”) Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), and first announced in October 2010.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “The Rodriguez Enterprise was a ‘family affair’ in which Orlando Rodriguez allegedly played an integral role. He will now be held to account for the lethal violence and other illegal conduct in which he allegedly engaged.”
According to the allegations set forth in the RICO Indictment:
RODRIGUEZ is charged with the 2000 murder of an individual who used the alias Carlos Valentin, an attempted murder in 1996, and multiple racketeering and marijuana trafficking crimes. He is also charged with laundering the Rodriguez Enterprise’s marijuana proceeds in the Dominican Republic. A chart containing a description of the charges against him and the maximum penalties for each charge is below.
* * *
RODRIGUEZ, 36, was arrested in the Dominican Republic on August 16, 2012, and arrived in New York on November 14, 2012. He was presented and arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. Francis, IV, and remains in federal custody.
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, and expressed his gratitude to the Government of the Dominican Republic. Mr. Bharara added that the investigation is ongoing.
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.