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Press Release

Couple Indicted For Possessing Machinegun That Was Fired In Front Of Police Officer’s Residence In Utuado

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

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico –A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Joshua Meléndez-Rivera and Joyce Torres-Vivas with the possession of a machinegun, announced W. Stephen Muldrow, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is in charge of the investigation. 

According to the Government’s allegations, Joshua Meléndez-Rivera and Joyce Torres-Vivas parked in front of a police officer’s residence in Utuado on April 26, 2020.  When the officer asked if they needed anything, the occupants of the car—Meléndez-Rivera and Torres-Vivas—responded angrily and Meléndez-Rivera pointed a gun.  After the officer withdrew into her house, shots were fired.  Meléndez-Rivera and Torres-Vivas were subsequently detained in the car and a pistol modified to be fully automatic was found inside.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Luis Valentin of the Violent Crimes Section is in charge of the prosecution of the case.  If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of ten years in prison. 

An indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Updated April 29, 2021

Firearms Offenses