SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Last week, several defendants pled guilty and others were sentenced in the District Court of Puerto Rico, announced W. Stephen Muldrow, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.
- On June 2, 2020, Magistrate Judge Marcos E. López held a hearing during which defendant Xavier Rivera-Natal plead guilty to possessing a fully loaded machinegun at his home in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico. On March 27, 2019, pursuant to a locally issued search warrant, PRPD found the machinegun and four additional fully loaded ammunition magazines (total of 16 rounds in machinegun, 48 rounds in the magazines). Defendant also had one black and beige imitation rifle. Defendant has been in federal custody since the day of the offense. The case was investigated by local and federal agents from Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean P. Murphy was in charge of the prosecution of the case.
- On June 2, 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Pedro A. Delgado-Hernández sentenced Alba Nydia Valentín-Rivera to a term of imprisonment of time already served (approximately 20 months and nine days) and a five-year term of supervised release for possessing a controlled substance with intent to distribute, specifically a quantity of heroin weighing at least 20 grams but less than 40 grams, in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. On September 24, 2018, PRPD agents went to El Carmen Public Housing Project to arrest a separate individual, but instead found Valentín-Rivera and co-defendant, Gilberto Antonio Martínez-Pagán, in an apartment owned by Valentín-Rivera. PRPD agents recovered large quantities of heroin, marijuana, cocaine base (also known as crack), cocaine, a digital scale, drug ledgers, drug packaging and distribution paraphernalia, approximately $2,300 cash, two machinegun conversion devices, a semiautomatic Glock pistol, and over 300 rounds of firearm ammunition in various calibers, from the apartment. Co-defendant Martínez-Pagán also plead guilty and is pending sentence, currently set for August 18, 2020. Valentín-Rivera has been in federal custody since the day of the offense. The case was investigated by local and federal agents from PRPD and ATF. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean P. Murphy was in charge of the prosecution of the case.
- On June 3, 2020, District Court Judge Aida Delgado-Colón sentenced Luis Alberto Germosen-Crisotomo to time served (roughly five months) of imprisonment, and three years of supervised release for the fraudulent use of a counterfeit Dominican Republic passport and U.S. visa issued under the name of another individual. Shortly before his sentencing hearing, Germosen had pled guilty to one count of Fraudulent Use of Visas, Permits and Other Documents. The case was investigated by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Normary Figueroa was in charge of the prosecution of the case.
- On June 4, 2020, Héctor Luis Mares-Valles pled guilty before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Gustavo A. Gelpí to one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a known convicted felon. Mares-Valles could be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than 10 years. Mares-Valles was arrested pursuant to a state search warrant where they found inside a residence a Glock pistol, and a total of 103 rounds of ammunition. This case was investigated by ATF. Assistant U.S. Attorney Pedro R. Casablanca was in charge of the prosecution of the case.
- On June 5, 2020, Carlos Zalduondo-Díaz plead guilty to possessing a machinegun while being a prohibited person (felon). The charges stem from a confidential tip that alerted Aibonito PRPD officers of shots fired from a Toyota vehicle and provided them with the vehicle’s description. The information was quickly transferred to other agents who were able to detain the vehicle and seize the firearm. Defendant faces a maximum sentence of ten years of imprisonment. The case was investigated by ATF and PRPD. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeanette Collazo-Ortiz was in charge of the prosecution of the case. Prosecution was made possible by the citizen who alerted law enforcement and because of the prompt response of the PRPD agents.
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