Forty-Four Individuals Indicted for Drug Trafficking in the Municipality of Bayamon
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 29, 2012|
SAN JUAN, PR—Yesterday, November 28, 20 12, a federal grand jury indicted 44 individuals as a result of an investigation led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD), announced today United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Velez. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Bureau of Prisons; San Juan Municipal Police; and the Puerto Rico Department of Corrections also collaborated during the investigation.
The 44 defendants are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, “crack’’ (cocaine base), cocaine, marijuana, oxycodone, (commonly known as Percocet), and alprazolam, (commonly known as Xanax). The object of the conspiracy was to distribute controlled substances at Villas de Monterey Public Housing Project and other areas nearby within the Municipality of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, for significant financial gain and profit.
According to the superseding indictment, from on or about the year 2000, the defendants conspired to possess with the intent to distribute narcotics. Defendant number one, Jeffrey Cummings-Avila, aka “Pitillo,’’“Luchador,’’ “Creepy Thunder,’’ and “Jumping,” is facing counts one through six, which include: Possession with intent to distribute heroin, “crack,’’ cocaine, and marijuana; possession of a machine gun; and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. He was arrested last May.
All the defendants listed in the superseding indictment are facing the conspiracy charge (charge seven). According to the superseding indictment, the 44 co-conspirators had many roles in order to further the goals of the conspiracy. These were: one leader, two managers or drug owners, five enforcers, three drug processors, six runners, four facilitators, 17 sellers, and six lookouts.
It was further part of the manner and means of the conspiracy that the co-conspirators would conduct drug transactions in the presence of minors and would use and employ juveniles under the age of 18 to distribute narcotics at the drug distribution points located within the Villas de Monterrey housing project. It was further part of the manner and means of the conspiracy that some members of the drug trafficking organization would routinely possess, carry, brandish, and use firearms to protect themselves and their drug trafficking organization. Twenty-nine members of the drug trafficking organization are facing one count for using and carrying firearms during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.
Furthermore, it was part of the manner and means of the conspiracy that the coconspirators. while in prison, would maintain contact by phone with other members in the free community to continue with the drug trafficking activities. They would transport large amount of U.S. currency derived from the sales of the controlled substances through flights between Puerto Rico and the continental United States. Some of the defendants and their co-conspirators would close with locks and chains the pedestrian entrances to Villas de Monterrey to impede the access to Jaw enforcement agents and members of rival gangs.
“This investigation and today’s arrest have dismantled a violent criminal organization dedicated to polluting our neighborhoods with drugs,’’ said Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Velez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. “The results of this investigation show that the Bayamon Strike Force and its law enforcement partners will work tirelessly to target and eliminate the most significant threats to our communities.”
“The individuals indicted operated a drug point located on a public side walk often used by children. Day after day, children of all ages used this pathway to walk to school while being exposed to drug deals, drug users, and violent acts. That is unacceptable,’’ said Joseph Campbell, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI. “A children’s pathway to school is not a place for a drug point. The message is clear and unequivocal: the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and other state and local law enforcement agencies will target organizations such as this one to disable the core of their main structures and systematically destroy their networks. Individuals in charge of the drugs sales, drug point owners, runners, enforcers, suppliers, and distributors will be identified, investigated, and brought to justice.”
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Cesar Rivera-Giraud.
If convicted, the defendants face a minimum of 10 years’ imprisonment and a maximum of life imprisonment, with fines of up to $10 million. Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.