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Press Release

Defendant Pleads Guilty in Brooklyn Federal Court to Attempted Obstruction of Justice Murder

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York

Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, Luis Taveras pleaded guilty to attempt to commit obstruction of justice murder.  The plea proceeding took place before United States District Judge Roslynn R. Mauskopf.  When sentenced, Taveras faces up to 30 years in prison.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent-in-Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New York Field Office, Ray Donovan, Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division (DEA), Keith M. Corlett, Superintendent, New York State Police (NYSP), and Dermot F. Shea, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the guilty plea.

 “The defendant’s crime was not only an attack on an individual victim, it was also an attack on our system of justice,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “The message of this prosecution is clear – anyone who carries out such a crime, wherever committed, is not beyond the reach of U.S. law enforcement.”

“In his attempt to stop a man from providing information to the U.S. by leading a hitman right to him, Taveras now stands to serve time for his role in this conspiracy,” stated HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Fitzhugh  “HSI’s partnerships domestically and internationally directly enhances our ability to arrest and prosecute those who seek to obstruct justice to hide from the truth.”   

“In our investigations, it has become apparently clear that violence doesn’t travel far from drug trafficking,” stated DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Donovan.  “I commend the men and women responsible for investigating and prosecuting Luis Alfredo Taveras who allegedly would stop at nothing to protect his drug distribution network.”

“This plea is proof that we will aggressively seek to hold criminals accountable for their actions.  I commend the members of the task force for their efforts in this case, and their ongoing partnership to cut off the flow of illegal narcotics into our communities,” stated NYSP Superintendent Corlett.

“Our reach in this case stretched overseas, to bring to justice a criminal who put innocent people in danger in the name of illegal drug trafficking.  It highlights the success our combined federal and local efforts have in continuing to eradicate violence and keep narcotics out of New York City neighborhoods,” stated NYPD Commissioner Shea.

As detailed in the superseding indictment, other court filings and the defendant’s statements at his guilty plea proceeding, Taveras participated in the attempted murder of an individual he knew from prior narcotics transactions and believed to be cooperating with U.S. law enforcement.  On June 21, 2016, Tavares entered a restaurant in Cali, Colombia, and sat down at a table with the victim.  Shortly thereafter, Taveras stood up, walked to the back of the restaurant, and watched as a co-conspirator entered the restaurant and fired eight shots – wounding the victim in the shoulder and arm, and also wounding two family members of the victim, including a five-year-old child.  Taveras and his co-conspirator then fled.  The three victims survived their wounds.  The harrowing attack was captured on videotape in the restaurant.

At today’s guilty plea proceeding, Tavares admitted that he identified the intended target to his co-conspirator, and that he wanted to prevent that individual from providing information to U.S. law enforcement

On February 21, 2019, Taveras was arrested by federal law enforcement agents in Miami.   

Taveras’s arrest and guilty plea are the results of an ongoing investigation conducted by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and the DEA.  The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s International Narcotics and Money Laundering Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Soumya Dayananda and Erin Reid are in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendant:

Age:  30
Miami, Florida

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 19-CR-180 (S-2) (RMM)



John Marzulli
United States Attorney’s Office
(718) 254-6323

Updated January 24, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime