Attorney Found Guilty of Attempting to Provide Contraband in Prison and for Making False Statements on Federal Agency Forms
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow of the District of Puerto Rico announced that after a five-day jury trial, a federal jury convicted Jorge L. Armenteros-Chervoni on Friday, November 18, for attempting to provide contraband in prison and for making false statements on federal agency forms. Armenteros is a licensed attorney at both the federal and state levels. United States District Court Chief Judge Raúl Arias-Marxuach presided over the trial.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Armenteros, 51, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, attempted to enter the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico on December 22, 2021 through the front lobby with two cell phones and seventy-five SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards hidden inside of a secret compartment of a bubble mailer envelope. Prior to passing the envelope through security, Armenteros handed the front lobby officer three Bureau of Prisons Notification of Visitor forms, for three different inmates, indicating that he did not have in his possession any phones or other electronic devices.
The front lobby officer detected the contraband and after inspection of the bubble mailer envelope, it was opened in the presence of Armenteros. The envelope contained two cell phones and seventy-five SIM cards inside of the secret compartment of the envelope. Testimony presented at trial described a black market within MDC for contraband cell phones and SIM cards which are used by inmates to engage in criminal activities. The two cell phones had a conservative value of $50,000 each and the SIM cards were valued at $2,000 each, for a total value of the contraband electronic devices within MDC of approximately $250,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Julian Radzinschi, of the Violent Crimes Unit, prosecuted the case, as well as U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was in charge of investigating the case. The sentencing date is scheduled for February 16, 2023. The maximum penalties for these offenses are: one year for attempting to provide contraband to inmates, and up to five years in prison for lying on federal agency forms.