Individual In Texas And Felon In Puerto Rico Indicted For Illegal Firearms Trafficking
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment charging Luis Rodríguez Cruz and Jason Morales de Jesús with firearms trafficking, sending and receiving firearms from out of state, and sending firearms via the mail without written notice, announced W. Stephen Muldrow, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. Defendant Rodríguez Cruz also faces a charge of possessing a firearm while being a felon.
According to the Government’s allegations, between October 2020 and February 2021, Jason Morales de Jesús acquired guns in Texas and sent them via U.S. Priority Mail to Puerto Rico, where Luis Rodríguez Cruz would sell the guns for profit. Among other events:
• In October 2020, Rodríguez Cruz negotiated the illegal sale of Glock pistols for $1,400 each in Puerto Rico. In addition, he offered to sell a 9mm pistol with a high-capacity magazine for $1,600.
• In February 2021, Morales de Jesus in Texas arranged for the shipping to Rodríguez Cruz in Puerto Rico of two Taurus pistols with obliterated serial numbers. Rodríguez Cruz then sent proceeds from firearm sales via the ATH Móvil application to Morales de Jesús using accounts belonging to third parties.
• In February 2021, Morales de Jesús in Texas arranged for the shipping to Rodríguez Cruz in Puerto Rico of a Zastava Arms pistol, three magazines and 75 rounds of ammunition.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeanette Collazo of the Violent Crimes and National Security Section is in charge of the prosecution of the case. The United States Postal Inspectors and the Department of Homeland Security are jointly in charge of the investigation. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum of five years in prison for the illegal firearm trafficking. Defendant Rodríguez Cruz faces a maximum of ten years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.