Home San Juan Press Releases 2009 Alexis Candelario Arrested on Armed Career Criminal Charges Alleged Mastermind of "La Tómbola" Massacre in Toa Baja,...

Alexis Candelario Arrested on Armed Career Criminal Charges Alleged Mastermind of "La Tómbola" Massacre in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 16, 2009
  • District of Puerto Rico (787) 766-5656

SAN JUAN, PR—On Nov. 10, 2009, a sealed complaint against Alexis Candelario Santana was authorized by U.S. Magistrate Judge Justo Arenas charging federal firearms violations under Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and (924)(e). Last night Candelario Santana was arrested by Customs and Border Patrol agents in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The announcement of the arrest was made today by Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, along with federal and state law enforcement agents.

Candelario Santana is the alleged mastermind of the massacre which occurred on Oct. 17, 2009, in the business establishment known as “La Tómbola” in Toa Baja, P.R., where eight people were killed and 20 injured.

“The arrest of Candelario Santana is the result of the joint efforts of a task force of federal and state prosecutors and law enforcement agents who worked tirelessly to locate and capture him. We will continue working with our state and federal law enforcement partners to conclude the ongoing investigation into the events of October 17,” said U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez.

This arrest was part of the joint efforts of the FBI, DEA, Puerto Rico Police Department, ATF, ICE, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Puerto Rico Department of Justice.

Penalties for the firearms offenses alleged in the complaint range from 15 years to life imprisonment, and fines up to $250,000.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney José A. Contreras, of the Violent Crimes Unit. The investigation into Candelario Santana’s criminal activities is ongoing.

A criminal complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.