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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Puerto Rico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 13, 2020

30 Individuals Indicted And Arrested For Conspiracy To Possess With Intent To Distribute Cocaine

The forfeiture allegation includes 50-foot and 65-foot vessels

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – On November 6, 2020, a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned a four-count indictment charging 30 individuals with conspiracy to possess a controlled substance on board a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspiracy to import a controlled substance into the United States, and attempt to import a controlled substance into the United States. Each of these charges carries a mandatory prison sentence of ten years and up to life imprisonment. U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow for the District of Puerto Rico, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Rafael Riviere Vázquez made the announcement.

The defendants indicted are:

Rafael Texidor Pérez

Carlos Javier Nieves Rivera

José Raúl Dotel

Roberto Cedeño Olivencia

Maywilliams José Salazar Salazar

Andrys Mata Salazar

Josué Rafael Gutiérrez Salazar

Mauro Rafael Lugo González

Isaías Hipólito Salazar Salazar

Edison Luis Ramos Gómez

Jorman Román Rodríguez Carreño  

Adruzal José Rojas Rojas

Franklin José Rodríguez Rivera

Osward José Salazar Rodríguez

Juan Carlos Suniaga Suniaga

José Luis Salazar Guerra

Alexis José Salazar Rivera

Marco Antonio Romero Romero

Ángel Miguel Rodríguez Jauregui

Jesús Antonio Carreño

Leonel Alexander Camacho Lugo

Carlos José Alcalá Rivas

Valentín Antonio Espinoza Salazar

Ángel Placido Manta Salazar

Adrián José Romero Salazar

Pedro Alejandro Salazar

Jacier Alejandro Salazar Marcano

Alexis Raúl Moreno Guerrero

José Moreno

José Sucre

“This indictment and arrests are a reflection of our resolve to combat drug trafficking and a clear indication of the success of our joint investigative efforts,” said W. Stephen Muldrow, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. “The Transnational Criminal Organizations seeking to import narcotics into the Continental United States should know that the Puerto Rico law enforcement agencies are working together to eradicate their threat, and that we will continue to aggressively attack their drug smuggling and money laundering operations.”  

“The FBI is and will remain ever vigilant in the pursuit of criminal organizations and individuals who wish to do their harmful business in our jurisdiction. Bad actors should know the FBI and its law enforcement partners are everywhere, all the time and we are a team,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Riviere Vázquez. “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our partners who worked with us in this large-scale operation, specifically, Police of Puerto Rico – FURA Intel, U.S. Marshal Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Puerto Rico Department of Correction, U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Coast Guard. This outstanding result would not have been possible without their collaboration.”

According to the allegations in the indictment, beginning on an unknown date and continuing up to November 1, 2020, the defendants conspired to possess with intent to distribute cocaine while on board vessels subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and conspired to import 500-700 kg of cocaine from Venezuela. After the arrest operation on November 1, the total weight of the cocaine recovered was 679.2 kg. The estimated street value of that quantity of cocaine, based on the per kilogram value in Puerto Rico, is over $20 million.

The two Venezuelan boats, a 50-foot vessel named Los ojos de mi negra and a 65-foot vessel named Frania-1, each of which had 13 Venezuelan nationals aboard, are included in the forfeiture allegation of the indictment. All of the defendants are at the Metropolitan Detention Center awaiting trial.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean P. Murphy is in charge of the prosecution of the case.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated November 13, 2020