WASHINGTON – The former Director of Public Works in the Municipality of Cataño, Puerto Rico, pleaded guilty today in Puerto Rico to a bribery conspiracy in which he received cash payments in exchange for the distribution of asphalt removal projects and certification of invoices for payments from the Municipality of Cataño to an asphalt and paving company.
According to court documents, in 2019, 2020, and 2021, Pedro Marrero-Miranda agreed to receive and did receive multiple kickback payments from Individual A and Individual B, owners of an asphalt and paving company, equaling approximately $1.00 for each square meter of asphalt removed by the company in the municipality of Cataño. The total value of the kickback payments received by the defendant from Individual A and Individual B exceeded $40,000.
Marrero-Miranda, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in a bribery scheme. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow for the District of Puerto Rico, Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, and Special Agent in Charge Joseph Gonzalez of the FBI San Juan Field Office made the announcement.
The FBI San Juan Field Office investigated the case.
Trial Attorney Nicholas W. Cannon of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth A. Erbe for the District of Puerto Rico are prosecuting the case.
This case is part of the Justice Department’s ongoing efforts to combat public corruption by municipal officials in Puerto Rico. In addition to the above matters, the Public Integrity Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico have recently obtained convictions against other former public officials and contractors in the District of Puerto Rico for soliciting and accepting bribes related to municipal contracts. See United States v. Luis Arroyo-Chiqués, 21-485 (SCC); United States v. Eduardo Cintrón-Suárez, 22-151 (SCC); United States v. Félix Delgado-Montalvo, 21-463 (RAM); United States v. Oscar Santamaria-Torres, 21-464 (RAM); United States v. Raymond Rodríguez, 21-465 (RAM); and United States v. Ramon Conde-Melendez, 22-221 (PAD).
Additionally, the department recently obtained indictments charging several former officials and contractors with bribery related to municipal contracts, and those cases are still pending. See United States v. Mario Villegas-Vargas, 21-468 (FAB); United States v. Ángel Pérez-Otero, 21-474 (ADC); United States v. Radamés Benítez-Cardona, 21-475 (PAD); United States v. Javier García-Pérez, 22-185 (ADC); and United States v. Reinaldo Vargas-Rodríguez, 22-186 (PAD).