Individual Arrested For Malicious Use Of Explosives
SAN JUAN, P.R. – United States Magistrate Judge Silvia Carreño-Coll authorized a criminal complaint charging Noel D. Cruz-Torres (“Cruz-Torres”) with malicious use of explosives. Cruz-Torres was arrested after throwing Molotov cocktails at the DuPont Pioneer building in Salinas, PR, and at PRPD officers who detained him, announced United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. The FBI is in charge of the investigation with the collaboration of the Puerto Rico Police Department.
According to the information contained in the criminal complaint and affidavit, on June 18, 2016, at approximately 3:30 am, someone called 911 to report an explosion near DuPont Pioneer. When police and firefighters arrived, they saw a vehicle burning nearby. A security guard reported that an individual was throwing Molotov cocktails at the building. The officers walked around the building and saw Cruz-Torres wearing a black t-shirt wrapped around his face and carrying a black backpack. While police pursued Cruz-Torres, he threw various Molotov cocktails at the officers. He also threw another lit Molotov at the fire truck.
Cruz-Torres had a flag with the words “LEVANTATE BORICUA Q HA LLEGADO EL MOMENTO DE DEFENDER NTRA PATRIA: VIVA P.R. Libre” (sic) (as translated in the criminal complaint, “Rise up Puerto Rican, the moment to defend our fatherland has arrived: long live free Puerto Rico.”)
DuPont Pioneer is an agricultural business that conducts crop-genetic research and development. It imports seed from Iowa for research purposes.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Alexander Alum. If convicted defendant faces a minimum penalty of five years and up to 20 years in prision. A criminal complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.