U.S. federal agents have arrested 14 people in Puerto Rico and Colombia connected to an international drug trafficking organization responsible for bringing large quantities of cocaine in the United States, the Justice Department said.
The arrests have led to multiple indictments filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico.
“These arrests are a strong indication of the success of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program in the fight against drug trafficking,” said U.S. Attorney Emilia Rosa Rodríguez-Vélez. “The arrests dismantled an organization that coordinated the importation of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into Puerto Rico from Colombia. The individuals named in these indictments are now facing long terms of imprisonment.”
The first indictment charges nine individuals with conspiracy to possess, manufacture or distribute controlled substances for the purpose of unlawful importation into the United States; and possession, manufacturing or distribution of controlled substances for the purpose of unlawful importation in the United States.
A second indictment charges five individuals with conspiracy to import controlled substances; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances; and attempted possession of controlled substances.
Both indictments contain forfeiture allegations for proceeds obtained as a result of the organization’s alleged drug trafficking.
The arrests are part of a long-term international drug trafficking investigation led by special agents from the DEA in Puerto Rico that resulted in the seizure of over 2,000 kilograms of cocaine and the arrest of 30 defendants under seven different indictments.