FBI Presses Charges Against Jose Villafane-Cotto for Making Death Threats Against United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez
Special Agent in Charge Carlos Cases of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) San Juan Division announced that the FBI has pressed charges against Jose Villafane-Cotto.
On February 6, 2015, the FBI charged Jose Villafane-Cotto with mailing a threatening communication and threatening a federal official. Thereafter, the custody of Villafane-Cotto was transferred from Ponce Correctional Facilities to the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Guaynabo.
On May 7, 2014, United States Attorney (USA) Rosa Emilia Rodriguez Velez of the District of Puerto Rico received a threatening letter from Jose Villafane-Cotto. The letter stated, in part, written in the Spanish language, “I want to inform the federal court that Rosa Emilia Rodriguez has a few days to announce her resignation or she will pay with her life.” The letter was sent with a return address of the Ponce Correctional Facilities, Maximum Security, P.O. Box 10786, Ponce, Puerto Rico, where Villafane-Cotto is currently incarcerated on state charges.
On December 24, 2014, Villafane-Cotto made a telephone call to (787) 754-6000, which is the phone number to the FBI San Juan Office. Villafane-Cotto relayed his intentions in threatening to cause bodily harm and death toward USA Rodriguez Velez.
On February 3, 2015, the FBI received information that three telephone calls were made to the 911 emergency systems, US Attorney’s office, and the FBI office in San Juan Puerto Rico.
The telephone calls were threatening in nature and were directed toward USA Rodriguez Velez. The FBI also received an audio recording of the threats left in the form of a voicemail at the USA’s office. The voicemail contained the following message in the Spanish language:
“Rosa Emilia, it’s me, Jose Villafane Cotto; remember I am after you and I’m searching for you. Please remember that. Don’t think that because I’m inside I can’t be outside. I’ll leave you with that. I know where you are and where you are going. I am not going to tell you anything else. I left you a very clear message. I hope you have received my letters. In an alerted war, nobody dies.”
If convicted, the defendant faces up to a maximum of 15 years in prison. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Cesar Rivera and is being investigated by the FBI.
The public is reminded that 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.