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Press Release

Two Men Face Federal Drug Charges After Multi-Agency Enforcement Operation at Rutland Motel

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Vermont

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced today that Daniel Ruiz, 34, of Springfield, Massachusetts, and Joel Ivan Caquias Aviles, 21, of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, were arrested Wednesday evening and charged yesterday by criminal complaint with Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances.  Both men are scheduled to appear before United States Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle this afternoon.   

According to court records, numerous federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies assisted in a Rutland City Police Department operation targeting drug trafficking that has been occurring at the Highlander Motel in Rutland, Vermont.  Surveillance and interdiction efforts provided probable cause to search three rooms at the motel.  When officers executed the search warrant on Room 15 of the Motel, Daniel Ruiz fled out the motel window.  Ruiz was subsequently apprehended and found in possession of $1,700.  Joel Ivan Caquias Aviles was detained in Room 15.  During the search of the room, officers located approximately 37 grams of suspected cocaine base, 168 bags of suspected heroin, over $5,000, and a Glock 9-millimeter handgun.  The investigation revealed that Ruiz and Caquias Aviles were using a juvenile to assist in their distribution of drugs to customers.

The United States Attorney’s Office emphasizes that a criminal complaint contains allegations only and that Ruiz and Caquias Aviles are presumed innocent until and unless convicted of a crime.  

United States Attorney Nikolas P. Kerest commended the collaborative investigatory efforts of the Rutland City Police Department, the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Vermont State Police, the Bennington Police Department, the Weathersfield Police Department, the Rutland County Sheriff’s Department, the Ludlow Police Department, the Rutland Town Police Department, and the Vermont Department of Corrections.  

The prosecutor is Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan Ophardt.  Ruiz is represented by the Federal Public Defender.  Caquias Aviles is represented by Devin McLaughlin, Esq.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Updated March 25, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking