Six Individuals Arrested For Carjacking, Hobbs Act, And Firearms Offenses
SAN JUAN, P.R. – On June 2, 2016, a federal grand jury returned a six-count indictment against six individuals for interference of commerce by threats of violence or Hobbs Act, use of firearms during and in relation to a crime of violence, and carjacking, announced United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. The indictment is the result of a joint effort between the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO), the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Save Our Streets Initiative (SOS) and the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD). The FBI’s SOS is one of the various components of the USAO’s Illegal Firearms and Violent Crime Reduction Initiative.
The indictment alleges that on or about April 2, 2016, in the District of Puerto Rico, Joel Miranda-Figueroa, Richard Cruz-Monzón, Felix Tomás Cruz-Carrión, aka “Tomate,” and Jonathan Rodríguez-Díaz, aiding and abetting each other, robbed La Revolución Barber Shop in Arroyo, PR. The defendants, aided and abetted by each other, unlawfully took $705.00, cellular phones, purses and personal belongings threatening employees and clients with firearms in order to commit the robbery.
On April 11, 2016, defendants Miranda-Figueroa, Cruz-Monzón, Bryan Steven Ramos-Marrero, aka “Zurdo,” and Erick Álamo-Rodríguez, aiding and abetting each other, committed carjacking. These four defendants stole a 2000 red Jeep Compass, while using and brandishing a firearm, from the person N.M.M. by threats and violence. On that same day, three of the defendants robbed a Gulf Gas Station/store in Maunabo, PR. The defendants took approximately $3,200 to $3,600, and approximately $66.00 worth in Newport Cigarettes threatening the employees and clients with firearms.
“The investigations by the SOS team of FBI special agents and designated PRPD officers will continue into similar crimes in other areas of Puerto Rico,” said US Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. “The collaboration and team work between state and federal law enforcement agencies in the investigation and prompt filing of charges show the immediate results we continue to obtain with this joint initiative.”
“Today’s successful operation should be attributed to the outstanding investigative skills of our partners, the Police of Puerto Rico. Their diligence in tracking down the alleged perpetrators comes not only from a sense of duty, but from their sincere desire to make Puerto Rico a safer place. Regrettably, while these arrests took place, new incidents of carjacking occurred in other parts of the island. Those responsible will soon be brought to justice in the same manner as today’s arrestees. Soon, it will become ever more clear that those who commit or assist in committing a carjacking will have their freedom replaced by a prison cell, for many years,” said Douglas A. Leff, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI, San Juan Field Office.
The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Daynelle M. Álvarez-Lora. If convicted, the defendants face up to life in prison. Indictments contain only charges and are not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.