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Sunday, May 19, 2024

5 Charged in Superseding Indictment for Conspiracy to Import Cocaine from Dominican Republic into the United States

The indictment alleges that the defendants made multiple trips between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic to transport narcotics.

A federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned a 14-count superseding indictment charging three men and two women with trafficking cocaine in the District of Puerto Rico beginning in 2021. This is a joint investigation between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with collaboration from U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations (CBP), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), and the Puerto Rico Police Bureau (PRPB).

According to the charging document, the defendants conspired to import cocaine into the United States from the Dominican Republic from November 2021 through April 2023. The defendants and the counts in which they are charged are:

[1] Osvaldo Hernández-Camacho, a.k.a. “Shaq/Oso”: Counts 1 through 13

[2] Nelson Rivera-Suárez, a.k.a. “Papo”: Counts 1 through 9

[3] Edgardo Luis Matos-Santos, a.k.a. “Bebi”: Counts 1 through 12

[4] Xiomarie Marrero-Álvarez, a.k.a. “Xiomy”: Counts 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 14

[5] Yahaira Santos-Castillo, a.k.a. “Yaja”: Counts 1, 4, 7, 10

The counts charged are:

Count One – Conspiracy to Import a Controlled Substance into the United States – not later than November 2021

Count Two – Importation of a Controlled Substance into the United States – October 15, 2022

Count Three – Importation of a Controlled Substance into the United States – November 17, 2022

Count Four – Conspiracy to Distribute and to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance – not later than November 2021

Count Five – Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance – October 15, 2022

Count Six – Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance – November 17, 2022

Count Seven – Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance on Board a Vessel of the United States – November 2021

Count Eight – Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance on Board a Vessel of the United States – October 15, 2021

Count Nine – Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance on Board a Vessel of the United States – November 17, 2022

Count Ten – Possession of Firearms in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime – November 2021

Count Eleven – Firearm Related Murder in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime – November 17, 2022

Count Twelve – Murder of a Federal Law Enforcement Officer in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking – November 17, 2022

Count Thirteen – Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering – year 2022

Count Fourteen – Obstruction of Justice – November 17, 2022

The indictment includes controlled substances and money laundering forfeiture allegations regarding the following property:

  • $10,000,000 in United States currency
  • Two 1999 Boston Whaler vessels
  • One 1974 Uniflite 42’ vessel
  • Lot of land in the municipality of Lajas, Puerto Rico
  • Two lots of land in the municipality of Carolina, Puerto Rico
  • One 2014 black Toyota Tundra
  • 2009 Ford Econoline E350 Super Duty Van White
  • A 2007 white Dutchcraft Camp Trailer
  • 2015 white Jayco Inc. Trailer
  • White and black framed Star Stream trailer
  • All United States currency in three different bank accounts

The indictment also includes firearms forfeiture allegations regarding the following items:

  • Four Glock pistols
  • One Sig Sauer pistol
  • One Remington Shotgun
  • One Springfield multicaliber rifle
  • Seventy-Six 9mm caliber cartridges
  • 239 5.56 caliber cartridges
  • 226 .40 caliber cartridges
  • 148 .45 caliber cartridges

The indictment alleges that the defendants made multiple trips between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic to transport narcotics. It also claims that on November 17, 2022, defendants Osvaldo Hernández-Camacho and Edgardo Luis Matos-Santos, aiding and abetting Joseamid Vázquez-Torres, a.k.a. “El Pana/El Capi/Jose”, not charged herein, did knowingly and intentionally kill, and counsel, command, induce and cause the intentional killing of Michel Maceda, a Federal Law Enforcement Officer engaged in the performance of his official duties.

“The conduct charged in this Superseding Indictment proves that firearms in the hands of drug traffickers pose a grave threat to our community and to our law enforcement partners,” said W. Stephen Muldrow, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. “For that reason, the U.S. Attorney’s office remains committed to the investigation and prosecution of transnational drug traffickers. We will find them and bring them before the courts to face the consequences of their crimes.”

“One of the things we in the FBI take pride in is our expertise in investigating the big picture scheme. That is, doing the painstaking, technical, and often tedious work of playing the long game to understand criminal enterprises, and then taking them down. These arrests are the results of that process, and we are committed to continue to do this work, together with our partners, to bring all those responsible to justice,” said Joseph González, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI San Juan Field Office. “Drug trafficking is the root of many of the evils that plague our society and sometimes, even the men and women sworn to serve and protect the people, become the victims of the violence that stems from it. This makes our work more important and more urgent. This is why we can’t and won’t ever tire of bringing our best to these cases, no matter how long they take to complete.”

“The responsibility of our law enforcement officers is to safeguard our borders, they leave their homes daily to enforce the federal laws and protect the United States, unfortunately that is a dangerous job,” stated HSI Acting Special Agent in Charge Rebecca González-Ramos. “It is our duty to protect each other as Law Enforcement, any assaults or threats to the ones risking their lives to protect our borders is a direct attack to the United States and will not be tolerated.”

“I am proud of the work of CBP Air and Marine Operations Agents, along with our federal partners, for their relentless work to bring the defendants to justice,” stated Troy Miller, Acting Commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “Marine Interdiction Agent Maceda’s sacrifice is a testament to CBP’s unwavering commitment to protecting our nation.”

“CBP Air and Marine Operations agents remain committed to interdict and deter transnational criminal organizations that continue to smuggle their contraband into our shores,” indicated Augusto Reyes, Director of Air and Marine Operations for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

If convicted, the defendants face a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, and a maximum sentence of life in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) and Chief of the Transnational Organized Crime Section Max J. Pérez-Bouret; Deputy Chief of the Transnational Organized Crime Section, AUSA María L. Montañez-Concepción; and AUSA Ryan R. McCabe are in charge of the prosecution of the case.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

Read more at the Justice Department

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Homeland Security Today
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.
Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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