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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Puerto Rico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 21, 2018

Seven Puerto Rico Police Officers Indicted And Arrested For Corrupt Activities Including Drug Trafficking And Firearms Violations

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico– Seven Puerto Rico police officers have been charged in four different indictments for their alleged participation in a criminal acts, announced U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez of the District of Puerto Rico. The FBI is in charge of the investigations.

“When the officer with a gun and a badge is no different from the trafficker peddling drugs in the street, we all suffer. That is why the US Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners are determined to root out corruption, wherever and in whatever forms it may be found,” said U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. 

“Today’s charges represent a grave breach of the oath taken by these sworn officers. Fortunately, those accused represent only a very small percentage of the brave men and women of the Puerto Rico Police Department, who serve only to protect the citizens of Puerto Rico. In fact, the FBI’s continued efforts to clean up corruption and civil rights violations have been assisted by the full cooperation of the leadership of the Puerto Rico Police Department,’ stated Douglas Leff, Special Agent in Charge of FBI, San Juan.

The first indictment, returned on May 18, 2018 by a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico, includes 13 counts for corrupt activities against the following police officers assigned to the Caguas Drug Unit: Eidderf Jhave Ramos-Ortiz, a.k.a. “Baby;” Juan Carlos Ortiz-Vázquez, a.k.a. “Juan C.;” Christian Rodríguez-Cruz; and Eric Velázquez-Martínez.

Eidderf Jhave Ramos-Ortiz is facing 11 counts for possession with intent to distribute marihuana while carrying firearms. Defendant Juan Carlos Ortiz-Vázquez is facing six counts for possession with intent to distribute marihuana while carrying firearms. Defendants Christian Rodríguez-Cruz and Eric Velázquez-Martínez are facing one count for possession with intent to distribute marihuana and one count for carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. If found guilty, all defendants are facing up to five years for the marihuana charges and up to life in prison for the firearms charges.

The second indictment charges José D. García-Hernández for possession with intent to distribute detectable amounts of marihuana in the municipality of Vega Baja. He is also charged with possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. García-Hernández is facing five years for the marihuana count and up to life in prison for the firearm violation count.

The third indictment charges José De Jesús Rivera, a.k.a. “El Mudo” with possession with intent to distribute detectable amounts of Tramadol, a Schedule IV drug controlled substance. On April 25, 2016 in the municipality of Vega Baja, De Jesús-Rivera carried firearms during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime as charged in the first count. This defendant is also charged with possession with intent to distribute Tramadol within 1,000 feet of the Brígida Álvarez Rodríguez School in Vega Baja. De Jesús Rivera is facing 20 years for the Tramadol count and up to life in prison for the firearm violation count.

The fourth indictment charges Marcelino Pérez-De Jesús with two counts for the sale of a firearm and ammunition to a prohibited person. On or about July 5, 2016, Pérez-De Jesús knowingly sold a Smith & Wesson 9mm caliber pistol to a felon. On July 20, 2017, the defendant sold 50 rounds of .40 caliber ammunition and two .40 caliber Glock magazines to a felon. The maximum penalty Pérez-De Jesús faces is up to 10 years in prison.

The cases are being investigated by the FBI’s San Juan Division and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys José A. Contreras, Teresa Zapata-Valladares, and Nicholas W. Cannon.

The charges contained in the indictments are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Citizens of Puerto Rico with allegations of law enforcement corruption are encouraged to contact the FBI’s San Juan Division at (787) 754-6000.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Public Corruption
Component(s): 
Updated May 21, 2018