34 Individuals Indicted For Drug Trafficking In The Municipality Of Aguadilla
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Yesterday, June 11, 2014, a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned an indictment against 34 defendants charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. Today, FBI agents and officers of the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD), the agencies in charge of the investigation, executed the arrest warrants.
The indictment charges 34 individuals with conspiracy to knowingly and intentionally possess with intent to distribute cocaine base (crack), cocaine, and marihuana, all within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising the La Montaña Housing Project located within the Municipality of Aguadilla, all for significant financial gain and profit.
The indictment alleges that beginning in 2009, the organization established drug distribution points located at different areas in La Montaña. It was further part of the manner and means of the conspiracy that the defendants and their co-conspirators would act in different roles in order to further the goals of the conspiracy, to wit: leaders and drug point owners who directed and supervised runners, enforcers, drug processors, sellers, and facilitators. Leaders directly controlled and supervised the drug trafficking activities at the drug points located within La Montaña. Enforcers possessed, carried, brandished, used and discharged firearms to protect the members of the drug trafficking organization, the narcotics, the proceeds derived from their sales, and to further accomplish the goals of the conspiracy.
The runners were responsible for providing sufficient narcotics to the sellers for further distribution at the drug point and collecting the proceeds of drug sales, as well as paying and supervising sellers. Sellers distributed street quantity amounts of crack, cocaine, and marijuana. Facilitators allowed the use of their residences by the drug trafficking organization, and served as messengers and intermediaries for other members of the conspiracy.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Vanessa E. Bonhomme is in charge of the prosecution of the case. If convicted the defendants face a minimum sentence of 10 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.