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Press Release

27 Individuals Charged In A Superseding Indictment For Drug Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Puerto Rico

Defendants face a narcotics forfeiture allegation of 100 million dollars

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – On September 18, 2013, a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned a superseding indictment against 27 defendants charged with conspiracy to import cocaine into Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to commit money laundering, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. The Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Puerto Rico Police Department were in charge of the investigation.

The indictment alleges that beginning in March 2005 until in or about July 2010, the defendants conspired to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances The object of the conspiracy was the wholesale distribution of controlled substances at multiple drug distribution points in the northern and central part of Puerto Rico, and further transshipment to the Continental United States; all for significant financial gain and profit.

Defendant Edgar Collazo-Rivera, a businessman from Bayamón, Puerto Rico, is facing two charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering and international money laundering. The objects of the money laundering conspiracy were: to conceal and disguise drug trafficking proceeds derived by co-conspirators, known and unknown to the Grand Jury; to use drug trafficking proceeds to promote the drug trafficking activities of co-conspirators; and to avoid any reporting requirements of drug trafficking proceeds. It was a manner and means of the conspiracy that the defendant and his co-conspirators would arrange to send bulk shipments of narcotics proceeds to the Dominican Republic, using Collazo-Rivera’s privately owned yachts to transport the U.S. Currency.

The International money laundering count charges Collazo-Rivera with the transportation of monetary instruments or funds, to wit: approximately eight-million dollars ($8,000,000.00) in United States currency from Puerto Rico to the Dominican Republic, knowing that the funds involved in the transportation represented the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity and that such transportation was designed in whole or in part to conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership and control of the proceeds of the specified unlawful activity, to wit, drug trafficking.

The defendants are: Ramón L. Molina-Quintero, aka “Carnal;” José Molina-Quintero, aka “Manolo;” Anthony Declet- Rivera, aka “Chio;” Ángel Felix Esquilin, aka “ Esquilin;” Ismael Luna-Archeval, aka “Maelo;” Carlos Barreto-Bermúdez; Jovanni Varestin-Cruz, aka “Jova;” Alfonso Toledo-Jiménez, aka “Cabito;” Luis Fonseca-Sànchez, aka “Pollo;” Joe Corvette-Gonzàlez, aka “ Joe Cor;” Antonio Rivera-Rodríguez, aka “Prince;” Kermitt Ramos-Acevedo, aka “ Duco;” Hector L. Díaz-Torres, aka “Menor Jodiendita;” Joel Díaz-Torres, aka “Menor Roster;” Carlos Adorno-Cruz, aka “Gallego;” Rocky Martínez-Negrón, aka “Rocky;” Jorge L. Díaz-Casillas, aka “Roquero;” Rolando Melon-Baerga; Luis A. Cedeño-Burgos, aka “Cuco;” Jayson Berríos-Rodríguez, aka “Jayson;” Madelyn Morales-Pagàn, aka “La Loca;” Ryan Colón-Ojeda, aka “Ryan;” Edgar Collazo-Rivera; Carlos Raymundi-Hernàndez; Juan Carlos Fontanez, aka “Papun;” Felix Colón-Peña; and Jean Carlos Bracero-Cotto, aka “Janco.”

“This case demonstrates, once again, the Justice Department’s continued commitment to hold leaders of major drug trafficking cartels responsible for importing narcotics into Puerto Rico and the continental United States – no matter where they conduct their illegal business.  Cartel members and their associates will be brought to justice for the damage they inflict on both sides of the border,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Olga Castellón.  If convicted, the defendants could face from 10 years up to life in prison. An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.

Updated April 10, 2015