SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Yesterday a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned an indictment against 15 defendants charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. The defendants used the United States Postal Service to send narcotics and money derived from the drug trafficking activities via air mail.
According to the indictment, the object of the conspiracy was to possess with intent to distribute cocaine in Puerto Rico for further distribution in the continental United States, specifically New York and Connecticut, for significant financial gain and profit. It was part of the manner and means of the conspiracy that the defendants and their associates would conceal kilogram quantities of controlled substances in different containers to include light bright toy boxes. The defendants and their associates would travel, or cause others to travel, from Puerto Rico to the continental United States, using commercial airlines carrying kilogram quantities of controlled substances hidden in suitcases.
The defendants are: Elving Madera-Rivera, aka “Binchi;” Francisco Colón-Soto, aka “Moyo;” José Oliveras, aka “Topo,” José Rivera-Ramírez, aka “Berto Risa,” Noel Acevedo-Rosado, aka “El Paramédico,” Raul Alemañy-Minguela; Eddie Bonilla-Bernard, aka “Bolillo;” Alexis Pinzon-Galindo, aka “Pinzon;” Agatha Casanova-Matias; Llamilet Seda-Ortiz, aka “La Gorda;” Dacmarie Dàvila-Marrero, aka “Dagma;” Juan Luis Cardona-Cruz; Wilson Martinez-Troche, aka “Chelope;” Mayra Enid Miranda-Casiano; and Shenary Torres-Morales.
According to the indictment, the defendants are facing a narcotics forfeiture allegation of one million dollars. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carlos R. Cardona. If convicted, the defendants could face from 10 years up to life in prison.
“Drug trafficking organizations must be aggressively attacked and dismantled at every level,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. “Today we have stopped a criminal organization from bringing significant quantities of cocaine into our communities in the West side of Puerto Rico as well as into the continental United States. The result of this operation is nothing short of significant and it underscores what our citizens expect from law enforcement: keep drugs out of our neighborhoods.”
“This successful investigation is a great example of the results that are achieved when federal law enforcement, state, and the private sector work together in a combined effort. Transporting cocaine by mail, car, and airplanes or on foot leads to only one destination, prison,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Vito S. Guarino. “We will not allow traffickers to turn our transportation routes and mail services into cocaine highways. As this case demonstrates it’s a dead end.”
Indictments contain only charges and are not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The defendants were the targets of a long-term Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDEFT) investigation, responsible for importing cocaine and heroin into Puerto Rico. 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.