Leader Of “La Onu” Found Guilty For Rico Act Conspiracy
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Today, after five days of jury trial, the leader of La ONU, Jean Carlos Ramos-Piñeiro, aka “Jincho”, “Janyi,” “Casper” was found guilty of drug trafficking and murder charges. Namely, violations to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering Activity (VICAR), use of firearms in furtherance of crimes of violence, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, and possession of firearms by prohibited persons, announced United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. The United States District Court Judge José A. Fusté presided over the trial.
The indictment alleged that from in or around 2004, the leaders of different drug points operating in the metropolitan area formed an alliance. This alliance would help them resolve conflicts between the previously rival drug gangs in a way that would not bring about the attention of local and federal authorities, thus ensuring increased profits from drug sales for all and reducing the risk of charges. It is further alleged that the alliance initially worked, but weakened over time. Several housing project gangs became disgruntled with La ONU and sought to break away from the organization. After several conflicts, La ONU broke into two (2) separate rival factions, La ONU and La Rompe ONU (La Rompe). The housing project gangs were split between those belonging to La ONU and La Rompe.
From the time of the split, the goal of La ONU was to maintain control through the use of force over the drug points in their members’ housing projects, and to kill La Rompe members and leaders in order to expand. Members of La ONU who committed murders and other violent acts were given benefits, including weapons, money and the ability to advance within the criminal enterprise. Though unwritten, the general rules followed by members of La ONU included, but were not limited to: 1) no associating with La Rompe members; 2) kill La Rompe members on sight; 3) no killing of other members of La ONU without leadership authorization; 4) no overtaking housing projects/drug points owned by other members of La ONU; and 5) no cooperating with law enforcement. Any violation of these rules was punishable by death of the violator and/or his/her family members.
During the trial, evidence was presented relating to the defendant’s participation in nine (9) murders, all committed in furtherance of the activities of La ONU. These acts are as follows:
- On or about November 12, 2007, in Puerto Rico, defendant Jean Carlos Ramos-Piñeiro aka “Jincho”, “Janyi,” “Casper” and other ONU members shot and killed Orlando Medina-Serrano.
- In October 2008, Jean Carlos Ramos-Piñeiro aka “Jincho”, “Janyi,” “Casper” tortured and killed Isaac Nair Ortiz-Rivera aka Kiki.
- On or about February 19, 2009, in Puerto Rico, defendant Jean Carlos Ramos-Piñeiro aka “Jincho”, “Janyi,” “Casper” and other ONU members killed Ángel González-Villanueva, aka “Chaple.”
- On or about January 5, 2010, in Puerto Rico, defendants Jean Carlos Ramos-Piñeiro aka “Jincho”, “Janyi,” “Casper”, and others killed Luis Antonio De-Jesús-Pérez.
- On April 2, 2010 Jean Carlos Ramos-Piñeiro aka “Jincho”, “Janyi,” “Casper” participated with ONU members in a drive-by shooting against Puerto Rico Police officers.
- On or about April 8, 2010, in Puerto Rico, Jean Carlos Ramos-Piñeiro aka “Jincho”, “Janyi,” “Casper” ordered ONU members to shoot and killed Victor Vega-Ortega, aka “Victor El Nazi.”
- On or about July 7, 2010, in Puerto Rico, defendant Jean Carlos Ramos-Piñeiro aka “Jincho”, “Janyi,” “Casper” and others shot and killed Puerto Rico Police Officer Blanca De Los Santos-Barbosa and Manuel Medina-Rivera.
- On or about August 8, 2010, in Puerto Rico, defendant Jean Carlos Ramos-Piñeiro aka “Jincho”, “Janyi,” “Casper” and others killed Christian Toledo-Sánchez, aka “Pekeke.” During the course of the murder, Luis Gallardo-Rivera, aka “El Tuerto,” was shot and killed by the rival drug gang.
- On December 6, 2010 Jean Carlos Ramos-Piñeiro aka “Jincho”, “Janyi,” “Casper” ordered the murder of Jose Alberto Casanova aka “Picnic,” “Pata Palo,” and ONU member, because he was believed to have become a rival.
“This conviction demonstrates the commitment of the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico to eradicate drug trafficking and violent crimes in Puerto Rico. For many years members of LA ONU intimidated the citizens of the metropolitan area with their violence and drug trafficking,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. “We are pleased with the jury’s verdict. We will use all the tools at our disposal to take dangerous criminals off the streets of Puerto Rico, until we break their grip on our communities and bring them to justice.”
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jenifer Y. Hernández-Vega and Special Assistant US Attorney Victor Acevedo-Hernández.
The defendant is facing a sentence of life in prison. The sentencing hearing was scheduled for February 2014.