Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges Leader Of Racketeering Organization In A 48-Count Indictment With 10 Murders And 10 Attempted Murders, Marijuana Trafficking, Money Laundering, And Other Charges
Indictment Includes Charges That Defendant Solicited Murder From Prison
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, James T. Hayes, Jr., the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (“ICE”) Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), and William J. Bratton, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York (“NYPD”), today announced the return of a 48-count superseding Indictment charging MANUEL GEOVANNY RODRIGUEZ-PEREZ, a/k/a “Shorty,” with controlling a massive racketeering organization (the “Rodriguez Enterprise”) whose members sold large quantities of marijuana, murdered and attempted to murder 20 people, transported and laundered millions of dollars, obstructed justice and committed perjury, and engaged in firearms offenses. This Indictment was filed yesterday in connection with “Operation Green Venom,” a coordinated multi-agency investigation that was led by ICE HSI and first announced in October 2010. RODRIGUEZ-PEREZ will be arraigned before U.S. District Judge Laura T. Swain on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Today we announce the addition of no fewer than 10 murders and attempted murders to the already numerous alleged egregious acts of violence, drug trafficking, and other criminal conduct with which Manuel Rodriguez-Perez is charged. This Office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners until everyone involved in this enterprise is brought to justice.”
ICE HSI Special Agent-in-Charge James T. Hayes, Jr., said: “As alleged, the Rodriguez Drug Trafficking Organization sought to maintain its vise grip on the drug trade throughout New York City by using murder and assaults on its competitors and workers alike. HSI and its law enforcement are committed to taking down drug organizations that wreak havoc on our neighborhoods.”
NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton said: “Individuals who traffic illegal drugs and give orders to take someone’s life have no place in our city. Thanks to the efforts of the investigators and prosecutors involved in this extensive case, these criminals will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
According to the allegations contained in the superseding Indictment unsealed yesterday in Manhattan federal court:
RODRIGUEZ-PEREZ, the leader of the Rodriguez Enterprise, is charged with ten murders and ten attempted murders, including the murders of the following victims:
- Francisco Perez, a/k/a “Francie,” on October 26, 1997;
- Antonio Kasse, a/k/a “Toasty,” on December 13, 1998;
- FNU LNU, a/k/a “Carlos Valentin,” a/k/a “Campi,” in or about 2000;
- Noel Herrera, on December 29, 2001;
- Kelly Perez, a/k/a “Red” on September 16, 2002;
- Marino Molina, on January 11, 2003;
- Wilfredo Molina, a/k/a “Willie,” on May 3, 2004;
- Manuel Rivas, a/k/a “Tony el Mono,” on October 29, 2005;
- Richard Cabrera, a/k/a “Bori,” on January 16, 2006; and
- Saturnino Delgado-Garcia, on May 1, 2011
Noel Herrera, Marino Molina, Manuel Rivas, and Saturnino Delgado-Garcia were each murdered in the Dominican Republic. Wilfredo Molina was murdered in New Jersey, and the remaining victims were murdered in New York City. RODRIGUEZ-PEREZ solicited the murder of Delgado-Garcia from prison.
A chart containing the charges in the Superseding Indictment, and the corresponding maximum potential sentences for each count, is attached. The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge. The charges contained in the Indictment against RODRIGUEZ-PEREZ are merely accusations, and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The Indictment seeks forfeiture of $25 million, which is the approximate amount of gross proceeds received by RODRIGUEZ-PEREZ derived from racketeering activities, properties in New York, Florida, and the Dominican Republic, and cash and jewelry seized by law enforcement officers.
RODRIGUEZ-PEREZ, 41, has been in federal custody since October 15, 2010, when he was arrested during a takedown of more than 50 members of a massive marijuana trafficking ring that transported ton-quantities of marijuana from Florida and California for distribution in the greater New York area from the early 1990’s to 2010.
RODRIGUEZ-PEREZ and eight other defendants were charged in July 2012, in S31 10 Cr. 905 (LTS) with, among other things, five murders and five attempted murders. Since that time, five of the defendants charged in that indictment have pled guilty to, among other things, multiple murders, marijuana trafficking, money laundering, and firearms offenses. The charges against the remaining defendants, Oscar Rodriguez, Theodore Jones, and Jose Espinal, are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of ICE HSI, the NYPD, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. He also thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service, the Bergen County, New Jersey, Prosecutor’s Office, the Englewood, New Jersey, Police Department, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the New York City Department of Investigation for their assistance, and added that the investigation is continuing.
The prosecution of the cases arising from “Operation Green Venom” is being overseen by the Office’s Violent Crimes Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amie N. Ely is in charge of the prosecution. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Adams is responsible for the forfeiture proceedings.