Home San Juan Press Releases 2010 Individual Charged with Harboring a Fugitive

Individual Charged with Harboring a Fugitive

FBI San Juan August 30, 2010
  • Special Agent Moises Quiñones (787) 759-1550

SAN JUAN, PR—On August 29, 2010, Ismael E. Cruz-Ramos, also known as (aka) “Chapu,” age 31, was charged with harboring the fugitive Edwin Bernard Astacio-Espino, aka “Bernard.” If convicted, Cruz-Ramos faces up to a maximum of five years' imprisonment for this alleged federal violation.

On August 28, 2010, the Police of Puerto Rico arrested Edwin Bernard Astacio-Espino at the residence of Cruz-Ramos in San Juan, Puerto Rico, including Cruz-Ramos and three minors.

The criminal complaint alleges Cruz-Ramos personally knew Astacio-Espino and that Cruz-Ramos was aware there was a warrant for his arrest. The complaint further states Cruz-Ramos had been told by Astacio-Espino that there was a warrant for his arrest for shooting a police helicopter, and because of this, Astacio-Espino was always armed with an “automatic pistol.”

It is believed Cruz-Ramos allowed Astacio-Espino to stay at his residence on several occasions and Cruz-Ramos intentionally concealed Astacio-Espino from law enforcement authorities, while knowing an outstanding arrest warrant existed for the arrest of Astacio-Espino.

Astacio-Espino is the alleged individual who shot at a San Juan Municipal Police helicopter on May 4, 2010. During this incident, the helicopter’s co-pilot, Jesus Fernando Quiñones Santiago, died as a result of his injuries due to gunshots fired at the helicopter. On May 13, 2010, a federal arrest warrant was issued from the District of Puerto Rico for Astacio-Espino where he has been charged with destruction of an aircraft and the use of a firearm in the commission a crime.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ilianys Rivera, and is being investigated by the San Juan Municipal Police Department, the Police of Puerto Rico and the FBI.

The public is reminded a criminal complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty. The U.S. government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.