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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 10, 2016

Three Individuals Found Guilty Of Violating The Rico Act, Drug Trafficking And Murder

These convicts were part of the La Rompe ONU drug trafficking organization

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Yesterday evening, after a 17-day trial, a jury found three members of the violent drug trafficking organization known as La Rompe ONU guilty of drug trafficking and murder charges. Namely, the jury found defendants Rubén Cotto-Andino, a.k.a. “Rubén El Negro”, José D. Resto-Figueroa, a.k.a. “Tego”, and Carlos Velázquez-Fontánez guilty of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, carrying firearms during and in relation to a drug trafficking offense, drive-by shooting murders and related firearm offenses, announced United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. United States District Court Judge Jay García Gregory presided over the trial.

Rubén Cotto-Andino was a leader of La Rompe ONU and oversaw the organization’s drug trafficking activities at the Jardines de Cupey and Brisas de Cupey Public Housing Projects. Jose Resto Figueroa, an enforcer for the organization, was found guilty of participating in a drive-by shooting that occurred on August 28, 2012, in which enforcers of La Rompe ONU shot and killed Luis Ojeda-Andino, a.k.a. “Pollo,” Luis Velázquez-Aquino, a.k.a. “Urraca,” and José Ayala-García. These murders are known as the “Jardines de Cupey Massacre.”

Carlos Velázquez-Fontánez, a San Juan Municipal Police Agent, who supplied members of La Rompe ONU with ammunition and engaged in drug trafficking, was also found guilty of a drive-by shooting murder. Namely, he participated in a drive-by shooting on June 25, 2011, during which enforcers of La Rompe ONU shot and killed Edwin Díaz-Cruz, Hervin Valcarcel-Martínez, a.k.a. “Prieto,” Javier Catala-Bermúdez, and Orlando Meléndez-Villegas. These murders are known as the “Tortuguero Massacre.”

During trial, the government presented the testimony of cooperating witnesses, law enforcement officials, forensic science technicians, experts and physical evidence such as firearms, ammunition, and narcotics seized, which proved that the defendants were guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

“The Rompe ONU gang ruled certain neighborhoods in San Juan, spreading violence and fear in their communities,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.  “This extensive investigation has taken dangerous Rompe ONU leaders, members and associates off the streets and put them in prison, where they belong. Violent street gangs should take note, and know that we are determined to break their grip on our communities, and   that they will face justice for their crimes.”

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alberto López-Rocafort and Victor O. Acevedo-Hernández were in charge of the prosecution of the case. The defendants face sentences of up to life imprisonment.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated November 10, 2016