SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Sixteen alleged members of a drug trafficking and money laundering organization responsible for the importation of multi-kilograms of cocaine into the United States were arrested Wednesday in several municipalities of Puerto Rico. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, working jointly with Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) and San Juan Police Department (SJPD) officers, launched Operation Overtime as part of law enforcement’s overall strategy to combat drug trafficking in the Caribbean.
“The indictment and arrest of these individuals sends a clear message to those involved in drug trafficking and money laundering that HSI will go after them to bring them to justice and will seize the assets produced from their illicit activity,” said Angel Meléndez, acting special agent in charge of HSI Puerto Rico.
The sixteen individuals are charged in three separate indictments with conspiring to import cocaine into the United States from the Dominican Republic. One of the sixteen, Nick Irizarry-Rosado, is charged with knowingly transmitting or transferring a Western Union money order for the amount of $1,200 from the United States to the Dominican Republic, with the intent to promote the dealing of controlled substances. Irizarry-Rosado is facing money laundering forfeiture allegations.
All of the defendants charged in the first indictment are facing a narcotics forfeiture allegation which includes several boats and vehicles as well as a parcel of land and residence known as Haciendas de Borinquen located in the Parguera Ward in the municipality of Lajas, Puerto Rico. In addition to Nick Irizarry-Rosado, those arrested from the first indictment are: Pablo Irizarry-Rosado, Luis Sierra-Pardo, Luis Quintana-Rodriguez, Rodolfo Fumero-Galindo, Wilfredo Mendoza, Angel Paz-Alvarez, Luis Marrero-Marrero, Jonathan Delgado-Flores and Angel Colon-Martinez. Those arrested and charged in the second and third indictments are: Elvis Aviles-Vega, Alberto Aviles-Vega, Hiram Quintana-Rodriguez, Rene Ramos-Rivera, Wilberto Morales-De Jesús and Adrian N. Cordero-Rodriguez.