Ten Individuals Charged With Racketeering, Armed Robbery, Carjacking, And Kidnapping
SAN JUAN, P.R. – A 27-count indictment was unsealed today in the District of Puerto charging ten defendants with racketeering, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, firearms conspiracy, interference with commerce by robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, and brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, announced United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. The case was investigated by the FBI, the Puerto Rico Department of Justice, and the Police of Puerto Rico.
The purpose of the enterprise was to rob trucks carrying valuable merchandise and resell it for profit. The defendants charged in the indictment had different roles within the organization:
- Luis A. Marzan-Oyola, 42, aka Omi, coordinated the robberies; he would contact the members of the organization and give instructions.
- Luis Ortiz-Figueroa, 38, aka Geovanni, would keep control of the security guards during the robberies. Ortiz-Figueroa also drove the robbed trucks.
- Ramon L. Berrios-Cintron, 37, aka Gordo, would keep control of the security guards during the robberies and hold them at gunpoint.
- Jesus M. Rivera-Rios, 40, aka Manny/Prieto, would hold the security guards at gunpoint.
- Angel N. Orozco-Ramos, 32, aka Noel, would keep control of the security guards during the robberies. Orozco-Ramos also jumpstarted and drove the robbed trucks.
- Jose W. Sierra-Lopez, 24, aka Caguita/Menor, drove trucks owned by Rivera-Rios that contained the robbed merchandise. He also off-loaded the merchandise from the robbed trucks.
- Gilberto Ferrer-Rivera, 48, would transport Berrios-Cintron who would hold the security guards at gunpoint during the robberies.
- Samuel I. Cruz-Colon, 31, aka Chamaquito, helped off-load the robbed merchandise.
- Felix E. Morales-Olivo, 57, aka Ricky, would knowingly sell the robbed merchandise.
- William A. Vazquez-Rodriguez, 34, aka Pokemon, brandished a firearm during the April 23, 2017 robbery.
According to the indictment, on April 23, 2017, Marzan-Oyola, Ortiz-Figueroa, Berrios-Cintron, Rivera-Rios, Orozco-Ramos, and Jaime J. Ferrer-Rivera, aka Jimmy (deceased), robbed two trucks carrying alcoholic beverages at gunpoint, from two security guards at the Mendez & Company warehouse in Puerto Nuevo. The merchandise had a value of $107,815.68.
The indictment does not charge Jaime Ferrer-Rivera, a member of the enterprise whose role was to plan the robberies, because he was murdered on August 4, 2017 in Dorado while driving down road PR-696.
On May 9, 2017, Marzan-Oyola, Ortiz-Figueroa, Berrios-Cintron, Rivera-Rios, Orozco-Ramos, Sierra-Lopez, Ferrer-Rivera, Cruz-Colon, Jaime Ferrer-Rivera robbed two containers carrying General Electric appliances valued at $111,000 at gunpoint from one security guard in Haier US Appliance Solution, Inc., a General Electric appliances warehouse in Carolina.
In May 2017, Sierra-Lopez, delivered a truck loaded with robbed merchandise to Morales-Olivo. Morales-Olivo made sure that the robbed merchandise was off-loaded from the truck and sold.
On July 3, 2017, Marzan-Oyola, Ortiz-Figueroa, Berrios-Cintron, Rivera-Rios, Orozco-Ramos, Sierra-Lopez, Ferrer-Rivera, Cruz-Colon, and Jaime Ferrer-Rivera robbed two trucks carrying Kmart merchandise valued at $57,000 at gunpoint from one security guard located at the Francisco Vega-Otero warehouse in Gurabo.
On July 11, 2017, Marzan-Oyola, Ortiz-Figueroa, Berrios-Cintron, Orozco-Ramos, and Jaime Ferrer-Rivera robbed one truck carrying beverages kidnapping the truck’s driver.
On July 19, 2017, Ortiz-Figueroa, Berrios-Cintron, Rivera-Rios, Orozco-Ramos, Sierra-Lopez, and Jaime Ferrer-Rivera robbed two trucks carrying dairy products at gunpoint, from one security guard at the Colomer & Suárez Company in Ponce. As Ortiz-Figueroa fled from the authorities in one of the stolen trucks, he attempted to murder three Police of Puerto Rico officers who were chasing him. He rammed their patrol car several times with the stolen truck. The merchandise was valued at $20,000.
The investigation also revealed that Marzan-Oyola, Rivera-Rios, and Sierra-Lopez had planned to commit another robbery between November and December 2017.
“We thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Puerto Rico Department of Justice, and the Police of Puerto Rico for their instrumental support during the investigation of this case,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. “The investigation in this case is part of a coordinated effort between federal and local law enforcement authorities to combat organizations such as this one who engage in the use of violence to commit robberies. We will continue to work together to keep our communities and businesses safe.”
“The allegations in today’s indictment describe organized crime in its most dangerous form, characterized by wanton acts of violence committed in a manner that demonstrates a complete lack of concern for the lives of others. This is exactly the type of conduct that should be addressed by the use of federal RICO laws to ensure that those responsible receive the maximum possible prison sentence,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Douglas A. Leff. “We express our gratitude to the United States Attorney’s Office and the FBI Ponce Office for making this case, and to all of the brave task force officers and agents of the FBI, DEA, HSI, U.S. Marshals, and Puerto Rico Police Department, who made today’s operation a success.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Victor O. Acevedo is in charge of the prosecution of the case. If convicted, the defendants face from 20 years to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The charges and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations, and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.