Individual Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison for His Participation in a Drug Trafficking Organization That Operated at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport
SAN JUAN—Today, Carlos I. Arce-López, aka “Ferretero,” was sentenced to 14 years in prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. On April 23, 2015, the defendant pled guilty to three counts from two separate indictments, charging conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. He also pled guilty to money laundering in relation to a drug trafficking crime.
In the first indictment, Criminal Case 12-413(FAB), 20 individuals were charged for aiding and abetting each other, and conspiring to possess with intent to distribute in excess of 9,000 kilograms of cocaine, aboard American Airlines commercial flights. At times pertinent to this indictment, convicted felon Wilfredo Rodríguez-Rosado, aka “Mogoyo” recruited and organized a group of individuals to package, transport and deliver suitcases loaded with kilograms of cocaine to the American Airlines cargo area at the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport. Moreover, he recruited and organized a group of American Airlines employees to ensure that those suitcases were smuggled into American Airlines flights destined to Miami and Orlando, Florida and Newark, NJ.
In the second indictment, Criminal Case 13-148(FAB), Arce-López participated in a conspiracy in which $800,000 of illegal proceeds were going to be used to purchase over 150 kilos of cocaine in the Dominican Republic to import into Puerto Rico. The defendant’s role was to provide the money and to coordinate with other coconspirators the importation of multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico. Arce-López also traveled to the Dominican Republic from Puerto Rico to meet with other co-conspirators to plan and coordinate the transportation of multi-kilogram loads of cocaine by boat.
The cases were investigated by the DEA, the PRPD, and the FBI, with the collaboration of the San Juan Municipal Police. The defendant was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Francisco A. Besosa. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Olga Castellón-Miranda.