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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Eight Reading Residents Indicted on 21 Counts of Drug Distribution, Firearms Offenses

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that eight individuals from Reading were indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury on 21 counts of drug distribution and firearms offenses. The individuals are:

  • Jesus Feliciano-Trinidad, a/k/a “Chewy,” a/k/a “Che,” 29;
  • Sharon Melendez-Ortiz, a/k/a “La Rubia,” 39;
  • Fitzgerald Daliot-Rios, 29;
  • Yomar Velazquez-Figueroa, a/k/a “Negrito,” 21;
  • Dewayne Quinones, a/k/a “Hombre,” 25;
  • Gisela Mendez, 42;
  • Mariela Alvarado, a/k/a “Onyx,” 38; and
  • Owen Malave-Medina, 22.

The charges stem from a months’ long investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Berks County District Attorney’s Office, the Berks County Detectives, the Reading Police Department, and the FBI into the receipt, processing, and distribution of a wide variety of drugs including methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and crack cocaine.  According to the indictment, the defendants used a number of buildings, residences, firearms, and acts of violence to further their drug dealing efforts in and around the Reading area.  The indictment further alleges that various defendants turned to proposed violence, conspiring to shoot certain individuals and commit a kidnapping in February 2018.

If convicted, defendants Feliciano-Trinidad, Melendez-Ortiz, Velazquez-Figueroa, Daliot-Rios, Alvarado, and Malave-Medina face up to life imprisonment.  If convicted, defendants Quinones and Mendez face up to 40 years imprisonment.

“These are serious federal charges with serious federal penalties,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “My Office is committed to working with the Berks County District Attorney’s Office and all of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to keep the Reading community safe.”

“If convicted of the alleged crimes, this drug trafficking organization would be one of the most violent organizations that we have ever dealt with in Berks County,” said Berks County District Attorney John. T. Adams.

“Violent drug gangs have such a corrosive effect on society,” said Michael T. Harpster, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “Their crimes affect people’s peace of mind and quality of life. The FBI is committed to supporting our local law enforcement partners as we all work toward safer communities. We’re determined to make a difference, one corner, one block, one neighborhood at a time.”

The case was investigated by the Berks County District Attorney’s Office, the Berks County Detectives, the Reading Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan B. Ortiz and Kelly A. Lewis Fallenstein, and Special Assistant United States Attorney Rosalynda Michetti.

An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated March 14, 2019