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Justice News

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

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Three Individuals Found Guilty Of Firearm Offenses

Defendants Participated In A Drive-By Shooting In The Baldorioty De Castro Avenue Killing One Person

SAN JUAN, P.R. – After an eight-day jury trial, José Cepeda-Martínez, Peter Rosario-Serrano and Juan Tanco-Baez were found guilty of firearm offenses, announced United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. United States District Court Senior Judge Daniel Domínguez presided over the trial.

According to the evidence presented at trial, on or about March 26, 2014, the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) arrested Cepeda-Martínez, Rosario-Serrano and Tanco-Báez for weapons violations and for the murder of an individual which occurred at the Román Baldorioty de Castro Expressway in Carolina, PR on the same day.

In the morning of March 26, 2014, a 911 call alerted the PRPD about a rapid gunfire reported at the Baldorioty Expressway. The call also alerted about a Jeep Cherokee fleeing the scene and going towards San Juan. Officers who were patrolling the area noted and identified the license plate of the Jeep Cherokee, and immediately pursued the vehicle. The individuals ended up fleeing the scene and later were arrested. A total of three Glock Pistols, two of them modified to fire as automatic weapons, ammunition, marihuana and three cellular phones were seized upon arrest.

“This conviction marks yet another victory in our fight against illegal firearms and violent crime in Puerto Rico. Our team of prosecutors and case agents set an excellent example of teamwork during the investigation which led to the conviction of these defendants at trial,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Kelly Zenón-Matos and Assistant United States Attorney Victor Acevedo-Hernández. The defendants are facing a maximum sentence of 10 years for each count.

Violent Crime
Updated July 9, 2015