16 Individuals Indicted For Drug Trafficking
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – On August 19, 2014, a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned an indictment against 16 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. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is in charge of the investigation, with the collaboration of the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The indictment charges 16 individuals with conspiracy to knowingly and intentionally distribute, and cause the distribution of, in excess of 50 grams of methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, and salts of its isomers, and quantities of Gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) knowing that it was for human consumption, all for significant financial gain and profit. The defendants are: Javier Trujillo-Plumey, aka “Mother”; Ramón Antonio Torres-Gonzàlez, aka “Gabriel”; Armando Duran; José Aníbal Rivera-Fuentes, aka “Luis,” “La Negra”; Nicholson Silva-Hernàndez, aka “Nico”; Fernando Dàvila-Guadalupe, aka “Fernan”; Juan Medina-Mojica; Antonio Camacho-Espaillat; Elvyn García, aka “Vinny”; Pablo Ramos-Pabón, aka “PJ”; Waldemar Gonzàlez-Medina, aka “Wally”; Esteban Ortiz; Hommy Rosado-Rodríguez; Eduard Gonzàlez-Pérez, aka “Bacteria”; Joeing Navarro, aka “Joe,” “Hunterman”; and Peter Molina.
The indictment alleges that beginning in September 2013, the organization distributed wholesale and retail amounts of methamphetamine –also known by its street names of ICE, crystal ICE and meth– and GBL throughout Puerto Rico. The meth was supplied by defendants and co-conspirators residing in the State of California, and the GBL was supplied out of China.
It was further part of the manner and means of the conspiracy that the controlled substances would be sent to defendants using commercial carriers such as United States Postal Service, UPS or FedEx. According to the indictment, the defendants used communication facilities, such as cellphones, to commit and facilitate the sales of meth and GBL.
“This is the first time that our District prosecutes a drug trafficking organization for distributing methamphetamines and GBL,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. “This investigation and prosecution are significant because we have disrupted the supply of this dangerous drug, which is new in Puerto Rico, before its demand increases to levels seen in the US mainland.”
“Operation Ice Island is an investigation that began in September 2013, with the seizure of 14.4 grams of Crystal Methamphetamine (ICE) where members of the Javier Trujillo-Plumey Drug Trafficking Organization used as Modus Operandi the distribution of Crystal Meth imported from California to Puerto Rico. The DEA will continue to work with state and federal authorities to combat drug trafficking and new forms and methods used by drug traffickers to circumvent our monitoring,” said Vito Salvatore Guarino, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Caribbean Division.
Eliezer Juliàn, Postal Inspector/Team Leader from the US Postal Inspection Service stated: “The US Postal Inspection Service has altered its strategy regarding the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of those who would use the U.S. Mails to transport illegal drugs and firearms. Our approach seeks to identify, disrupt, and dismantle drug trafficking organizations (DTO’s). In addition, we have strengthened our relationship with our federal and state law enforcement partners. This level of inter-agency cooperation has had an impact on DTO’s operating in Puerto Rico.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Myriam Fernàndez 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.
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