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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 2, 2018

Two Individuals Indicted For Drug Trafficking

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – On February 28, 2018 a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned an indictment against two defendants charged with conspiracy to import a controlled substance, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. The Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF) is in charge of the investigation, with the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Services as the lead agency, and the collaboration of Customs and Border Protection, Caribbean Air and Marine Branch (CAMB) Marine Patrol Aircraft (MPA).

The indictment alleges that on or about February 20, 2018, defendants Jamaico Jedi, a.k.a. “Jan Michael Jedi”, and Rafael Britto Paulino, a.k.a. “Rafael Britto/Raffi Britto/Raffy Britto,” conspired to possess with intent to distribute five (5) kilograms or more of cocaine on board a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; and conspired to import five (5) kilograms or more of cocaine to Puerto Rico

The defendants are also facing one charge of conspiracy to destroy property subject to forfeiture. The defendants were navigating a 33ft “yola-type” vessel when agents from the U.S. Coast Guard detained them approximately four nautical miles from Rincon in Puerto Rico. The defendants threw overboard square objects that the USCG crewmembers identified as bales of suspected illegal narcotics. Upon further investigation, cocaine was found to be present both on the surface of the vessel and the defendants’ hands. Defendants are also facing a charge of attempted improper entry into the United States.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Montes and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean R. Gajewski are in charge of the prosecution of the case. If convicted, the defendants face a minimum sentence of 10 years up to life in prison for the drug conspiracy charges. Indictments contain only charges and are not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The CCSF is an initiative of the U.S. Attorney's Office created to disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations operating in the Caribbean. CCSF is part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) that investigates South American-based drug trafficking organizations responsible for the movement of multi-kilogram quantities of narcotics using the Caribbean as a transshipment point for further distribution to the United States. The initiative is composed of DEA, HSI, FBI, US Coast Guard, US Attorney Office for the District of Puerto Rico, and PRPD's Joint Forces for Rapid Action.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated March 2, 2018