Federal Charges For Weapons Trafficking And Carjacking
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – On February 8, 2018, a federal grand jury returned a 13-count indictment charging three individuals for trafficking firearms without a license, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is in charge of the investigation of the case.
The indictment charges Helmer Colón-Figueroa, Erick Cotto-Romero, and Luis Estrada-Rivera with conspiracy to engage in firearms trafficking without a license. The object of the conspiracy was to purchase firearms in the State of Florida, transport them to Puerto Rico, and sell them to other individuals in Puerto Rico, for profit.
Helmer Colón-Figueroa is also facing charges for possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon. Defendants are facing a forfeiture allegation of nine pistols, seven rifles and a money judgment of $47,300. If convicted, the defendants face up to five years in prison for engaging in the business of dealing firearms without a license, and up to 10 years for possession of a machine gun and for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
In an unrelated case, Puerto Rico Police Department officers arrested Adriel Carrasquillo-Carmona for carjacking. On Saturday, February 3, 2018, Carrasquillo-Carmona, with the intent to cause death or serious bodily harm, took a gray 1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass vehicle from the presence of a 70-year-old male victim causing him serious bodily injury. The defendant struck the victim in the head and body with a sledgehammer several times. The victim struggled with Carrasquillo-Carmona, who after beating him reached inside the victim’s pockets and took a cell phone, $800 and the vehicle. The defendant was arrested on February 4 and the FBI assumed jurisdiction. If convicted, Carrasquillo-Carmona faces up to 25 years in prison.
“We will continue to work tirelessly with all the law enforcement agencies, federal and state, to fight the wave of crime that is alarming our communities in Puerto Rico,” said United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Victor Acevedo-Hernández is in charge of the prosecution of the firearms case and AUSA Marie Christine Amy is in charge of the prosecution of the carjacking case. Indictments contain only charges and are not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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