12 Individuals Indicted For Carjacking
SAN JUAN, P.R. – On May 22, 2013, a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned multiple indictments against 12 defendants charged with carjacking and firearms offenses, announced today Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. This is the second largest carjacking arrest operation in the District of Puerto Rico. The accusations are the result of a joint effort between the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO), the Puerto Rico Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Save Our Streets Initiative (SOS) and the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD).
The defendants are: José Canales-Cordova; Wilfredo Jiménez-Torres; Gadiel Lozada-Manzano; Guarionex Pratts Rey; Miguel A. Sánchez-Rivera; Josué E. Aponte-Ramos; Victor J. Román Lizardi; Miguel A. Fernández-Torres; Luis R. Figueroa-Chévere; and Christopher Pérez-Pontón. These defendants are responsible for many violent crimes within our District, and had committed offenses which until now remained unsolved. Other defendants who allegedly committed the same offenses of carjacking and firearm violations are: Kedwin Rodríguez-Rivera; Roberto Rohena-Villega and Ricardo Urbina-Robles. These individuals were previously indicted in separate accusations.
The SOS agents and the prosecutors in USAO’s Illegal Firearms and Violent Crime Reduction Initiative have filed criminal charges against more than 123 violent offenders for violations to Title 18, United States Code, Section 2119. With these latest charges, the prosecutors in the USAO’s Illegal Firearms and Violent Crime Reduction Initiative have charged approximately 770 violent offenders within the last six months.
“The investigations by the SOS team of FBI special agents and designated PRPD officers will continue into similar crimes in other areas of Puerto Rico,” said US Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. “The collaboration and team work between state and federal law enforcement agencies in the investigation and prompt filing of charges show the immediate results we continue to obtain with this joint initiative.”
“Violent Crimes is one of the priorities for the FBI in San Juan and we'll continue aggressively pursuing it, in partnership with local law enforcement agencies and the United States Attorney’s Office,” said Carlos Cases, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI-San Juan Field Office.
The cases are being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys: Max Pérez-Bouret, Kelly Zenón-Matos, Amanda C. Soto-Ortega, Normary Figueroa-Rijo, and Vanessa D. Bonano-Rodríguez, under the supervision of Assistant United States Attorney Jose Capó-Iriarte, Chief of the Violent Crimes Unit. If convicted, the defendants could face sentencings from 15 years up to life in prison. Indictments contain only charges and are not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.