Three Individuals Found Guilty of Conspiracy to Commit Carjacking Which Resulted in Death and Civil Rights Violations
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 20, 2011|
SAN JUAN, PR—Yesterday evening, defendants Carlos Aponte-Sobrado, aka “Kiko”; José Vizcarrondo-Casanova, aka “Roco”; and Erick Díaz-Colón, aka “El Gallo”, were convicted of conspiracy to commit carjacking which resulted in death and civil rights violations of victim Elis Manuel Andrades-Telleria, announced United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Vélez. The two-month trial was held before U.S. District Court Judge Francisco A. Besosa.
Twelve defendants were indicted in an eight-count superseding indictment, on October 8, 2009; nine pled guilty before the trial started on July 18, 2011. The superseding indictment alleged that the defendants targeted Elis Manuel Andrades-Telleria, who they knew was transporting approximately 14 kilograms of cocaine in his vehicle, and staged a pretextual traffic stop to steal the contraband. The defendants were dressed in black tactical gear to give the impression they were federal agents and requested the assistance of a former police officer who was at the scene of the arrest wearing his uniform and driving his marked police vehicle.
The superseding indictment further charged that after arresting the victim, the defendants handcuffed him and took him to an auto body repair shop in the municipality of Trujillo Alto. The defendants stole the load of narcotics (approximately 14 kilograms of cocaine) being transported by Andrades Telleria, and submitted him to further interrogation under the guise of a legal arrest. The victim was subsequently killed while handcuffed and sitting inside a vehicle. The defendants disposed of the body of Elis Manuel Andrades Telleria at a remote location on a rural road in Trujillo Alto.
“This conviction demonstrates the commitment of the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico to eradicate violent crime in Puerto Rico,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. “We are pleased with the jury’s verdict. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue working along with other law enforcement agencies to fight against violent criminals that deprive our communities of a peaceful and safe environment.”
The investigation was conducted by FBI agents in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney José A. Contreras and Julie B. Mosley, Trial Attorney for the Criminal Division - Organized Crime and Gangs Section and currently detailed to the Capital Case Unit.
The defendants face a possible sentence of life imprisonment and fines up to $250,000 per count of conviction.