Three Individuals Arrested for Possessing Automatic Weapons
|FBI San Juan September 01, 2010|
SAN JUAN, PR—On September 1, 2010, LUIS JOEL ROSARIO-SANTIAGO, age 25, ANGEL LUIS GARCIA-VELASQUEZ, age 24, and CARLOS HIRAN O’NEILL-SERRANO, age 22, were arrested at the Carolina Municipal Courthouse by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force (FBI SSTF). ROSARIO-SANTIAGO, GARCIA-VELASQUEZ, and O’NEILL-SERRANO have been each charged with possession of an automatic weapon.
On July 21st, 2010, GARCIA-VELASQUEZ, and O’NEILL-SERRANO were traveling in a vehicle driven by ROSARIO-SANTIAGO on State Road 66 in Canovanas, Puerto Rico, and it was subsequently stopped by the Police of Puerto Rico (POPR) due to a traffic violation. The criminal complaint alleges that when ROSARIO-SANTIAGO was retrieving his driver’s license from a small bag on his person, one of the POPR officers observed three pistol magazines within the bag.
The POPR officers immediately asked the driver and the passengers to exit the vehicle. While conducting a search of GARCIA-VELASQUEZ and O’NEILL-SERRANO, the officers found each to have in their waistband area, a Glock 40 caliber pistol. All three individuals were then placed under arrest by the POPR for illegal possession of a firearm.
Investigation conducted by the FBI-SSTF revealed, ROSARIO-SANTIAGO had purchased the weapon and knew the pistol had been modified to shoot fully automatic similar to a machine-gun, and he had given the pistol to GARCIA-VELASQUEZ when he picked up GARCIA-VELASQUEZ at his residence. When GARCIA-VELASQUEZ received the weapon from ROSARIO-SANTIAGO, he was also aware the pistol had been modified to shoot fully automatic similar to a machine-gun.
It was also learned O’NEILL-SERRANO was the owner of the weapon that was found on him, and that he also knew when he purchased the pistol, it had been modified to shoot fully automatic similar to a machine-gun.
Both pistols were submitted for examination to the Puerto Rico Forensics Institute for analysis where it was determined both Glock pistols had been modified from semi-automatic fire to functional fully automatic fire pistols.
If convicted, these individuals each face up to a maximum of ten (10) years’ imprisonment and up to a maximum $250,000.00 dollar fine.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brian K. Kidd. This case is being investigated by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, whose members are officers from the following law enforcement agencies: Police of Puerto Rico, San Juan Municipal Police Department, Puerto Rico Department of Corrections, U.S. Bureau of Prisons, 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.