Eleven Individuals Indicted and Arrested for Drug Trafficking From Puerto Rico to the Continental United States
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Dominican drug lord Justo Germán Rosario (CPOT No. 64), also known as “Papín,” was indicted, arrested, and extradited to the United States to face drug trafficking charges filed in the District of Puerto Rico.
“This extradition is another important step in our fight against drug trafficking and transnational organized crime,” said U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow. “Over the past years, the District or Puerto Rico has established stronger partnerships with our neighboring countries in many areas of law enforcement, including extraditions. We will continue to strengthen those partnerships.”
Rosario was the leader of a transnational criminal organization (TCO) suspected of importing thousands of kilograms of cocaine into Puerto Rico from several strategic sites within the Caribbean, to include the Dominican Republic and Sint Maarten.
On July 15, 2020, a Federal Grand Jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned an indictment against Rosario, charging him with conspiracy to import cocaine into the United States (count one). Count two of the indictment charges the defendant with importing five kilograms or more of cocaine into the United States from Venezuela, Sint Maarten, the Dominican Republic and elsewhere, from February to December 2017.
This prosecution is part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation “Neptune Trident,” with the collaboration of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The OCDETF program identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
The Attorney General designated Rosario as an OCDETF Consolidated Priority Organizational Target (CPOT) in 2019. The Attorney General’s (AG) Interagency CPOT list is comprised of leaders who exercise “command and control” of the elements of the most prolific drug trafficking/money laundering organizations that have the greatest impact on the United States’ illicit drug supply. The CPOT list represents the “most wanted” of the cartel leadership and ensures that the full capabilities of the U.S. government are focused, in a coordinated and clear manner, on a group of agreed-upon high-level targets.
Agents assigned to the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF) have been investigating Rosario’s drug trafficking organization (DTO) since 1994.
The CCSF is a multi-agency OCDETF strike force comprised of federal and state law enforcement agencies, including the DEA, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), FBI, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS), and the U.S. Marshals Service, with the collaboration from the Puerto Rico Department of Public Safety, the Puerto Rico Police Bureau, FURA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol, and the IRS Criminal Investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Max J. Pérez-Bouret, Chief of the Transnational Organized Crime Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille García. Charges were originally presented by AUSA Kelly Zenón. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs worked with law enforcement partners in St. Maarten to secure the arrest and extradition of Rosario to the United States.
If convicted, Rosario faces a possible sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison.
OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and is the keystone of the Department of Justice’s drug reduction strategy. Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations, and money laundering organizations that present a significant threat to the public safety, economic, or national security of the United States.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.