Three Members of Violent Reading, PA Drug Gang Convicted By Jury of Federal Murder, Kidnapping and Drug Conspiracy Charges
PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero and Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams announced today during a press conference in the Berks County Courthouse that Jesus Feliciano-Trinidad, 33; Dewayne Quinones, 29; and Mayco Alvarez-Jackson, 25; all of Reading, PA, were convicted at trial of murder, kidnapping, drug distribution and firearms offenses arising from their involvement with a Reading-area drug trafficking organization which was responsible for multiple homicides, kidnapping, and conspiracies to kidnap in 2017 and 2018, including a quadruple homicide which occurred on January 28, 2018. All three defendants were convicted of federal murder and weapons charges relating to the quadruple homicide.
Over 15 defendants were charged in a series of indictments stemming from a years’ long investigation into the receipt, processing, and distribution of methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and crack cocaine. The indictments detailed the defendants using a number of buildings, residences, firearms and acts of violence to further their drug dealing efforts in and around Reading, including kidnapping and/or shooting multiple individuals in 2017 and 2018; conspiring to shoot and kill Miguel Reyes on December 13, 2017; kidnaping, shooting, and killing Hector Gonzalez-Rivera on January 24, 2018; and shooting and killing Jarlyn Lantigua-Tejada, Juan Rodriguez, Nelson Onofre, and Joshua Santos on January 28, 2018.
“These three defendants, members of the Trinidad gang, have been convicted by a jury of some of the most serious charges that exist under federal law with penalties of equal gravity,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “These convictions, after years of investigation and preparation, would not have been possible without the partnership of District Attorney Adams and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I want to thank them and all of our local law enforcement partners here in Berks County as we work together to prosecute violent drug trafficking organizations like Trinidad in order to keep the Reading community safe.”
“We appreciate the partnership between the Berks County District Attorney’s Office and the United States Attorney’s office of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in the prosecution of this violent Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO),” said Berks County District Attorney Adams. “Today’s verdict indicates a very successful prosecution of this violent DTO that created mayhem in our community. These convictions indicate that the jury has held the leaders of this organization responsible for their acts of violence and drug trafficking, and as a result they will never be a threat to our community again.”
“These are three violent, dangerous men who terrorized the Reading area for years, trafficking deadly drugs and committing multiple murders,” said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “The Trinidad organization’s actions destroyed families and had a devastating effect on the community’s public safety and quality of life. This case underscores how the FBI and our law enforcement partners are working together to target and dismantle the violent drug gangs wreaking so much havoc, just to make money and a name for themselves on the street. I want to thank the Reading Police Department and the Berks County District Attorney's Office, in addition to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania – for all the time, work, and resources they put into this investigation, resulting in today’s convictions.”
12 defendants charged in the investigation previously pleaded guilty to federal or state charges and are awaiting sentencing. Co-defendants Mariela Alvarado and Owen Malave-Medina were sentenced to 168 months and 90 months in prison, respectively.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Berks County District Attorney’s Office, the Berks County Detectives, and the Reading Police Department, with assistance from the Pennsylvania State Police and the Montgomery County Detectives, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kelly A. Lewis Fallenstein, Special Assistant United States Attorney Rosalynda M. Michetti, and Assistant United States Attorney Vineet Gauri.