Alleged Memebers Of Heroin Smuggling Ring Indicted
PHILADELPHIA - An indictment was unsealed yesterday charging seven people in a drug conspiracy that involved importing heroin, distributing heroin, and kidnapping between November 2010 and March 2012. Charged as members of the Castillo Drug Smuggling Organization (“CDSO”) are Higinio Castillo, Michael Nunez-Rodriguez, Philip Osley, Yeltsin Genao, Kevlin Perez, Julio Gabriel Perez-Martinez, and Jose Eddy Padilla-Caban. According to the indictment, the defendants smuggled drugs from the Dominican Republic, recruiting couriers who would smuggle packets of the drugs onto flights by swallowing them or concealing them in a body cavity. Over the course of the conspiracy, members of the CDSO made numerous trips to the Dominican Republic allegedly for the purpose of smuggling in more than six kilos of heroin.
The indictment further alleges that on August 24, 2011, CDSO members Genao, Nunez-Rodriguez, and Perez attempted to kidnap one of the couriers whom they believed had stolen their drugs. The drugs had actually been confiscated by federal agents when a courier arrived at Philadelphia International Airport the previous week. The three CDSO members lured the courier to a residence on 19th Street where Castillo met them. The defendants bound the courier’s hands and feet, threatened him with physical harm, and brandished and discharged a firearm, in an attempt to locate the missing heroin.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney Zane David Memeger and Special Agent-in-Charge John Kelleghan of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations. Charges include conspiracy to import one kilogram or more of heroin, importation of 100 grams or more of heroin, conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, possession of 100 grams or more of heroin with intent to distribute, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and using and carrying a firearm during an in relation to a drug trafficking crime and crime of violence.
Defendants Castillo, 23, Osley, 21, Genao, 20, and Perez, 20, all reside in Philadelphia. Defendant Nunez-Rodriguez, 19, lives in Passaic, NJ. Defendants Perez-Martinez, 25, and Padilla-Caban, 24, live in the Domincan Republic. All of the defendants are in federal custody. Osley was arrested and made his initial appearance yesterday. The indictment was returned June 13, 2012.
All of the defendants face a maximum possible sentence of life in prison. Defendants Castillo, Nunez-Rodriguez, Genao, and Perez each face a mandatory minimum sentence of twenty years.
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), United States Customs and Border Protection, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Philadelphia Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nancy Rue.
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525