Seventy-five people in Puerto Rico were indicted for allegedly running a multimillion-dollar drug trafficking ring that the conduct of the remains of their victims to alligators.
Seventy-five people in Puerto Rico were on Wednesday indicted for allegedly running a multimillion-dollar drug trafficking ring, including the sale of hard drugs in the public housing complexes, and throwing the bodies of the victims to alligators.
The Prosecutor of the V. S. Rosa Emilia Rodriguez announced Wednesday, the group is active since 2006 and sold drugs — including crack, cocaine, heroin, and Xanax — in the capital city of San Juan, as well as shipping cocaine to the U.S. mainland.
“Since we started the investigation of this violent gang, we were struck that they would make their victims and their bodies were thrown to the caimans,” Rodriguez said in a press conference Wednesday in the morning. “With those acts, we see the violence of this dangerous gang, known as the Las FARC.”
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FARC is to be translated with “The Revolutionary armed Forces of Cantera,” which operated from Barrio Obrero District in San Juan, with the objective to “control the drug trafficking activities with the Santurce area by the use of force, threats, violence and intimidation,” the U. S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Prosecutor Alberto Lopez said the group is linked to more than a dozen dead, although he could not say how many people were allegedly fed to alligators — alligator-like reptiles in the alligatorid family — the quote of the confidential evidence.
“They had [the caymans] as a pet in their houses,” Rodriguez said, adding that the federal investigation was called ” Operation Crocodile.”
According to the U. S. Attorney’s Office, the gang leaders would routinely authorize vendors provide free “samples” of narcotics to “customers” in order to promote the sale of a particular brand of medication. They would also make use of obstacles and barricades of large water tanks, access control, barriers, steel fence poles, and to block the streets and prevent law enforcement or rival gangs from entering the areas where they operated.
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The 75 people indicted acted in various roles, including drug point owners, runners, vendors, forces, drug processors, sellers and consultants. Twenty-seven of the suspects were also accused of possession of firearms.
According to El Nuevo Dia, one of the suspects was identified as Edgar Nieves, who was a city employee in the human resources department at the town hall. The mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz, ordered Nieves suspended from his post.
“Daily municipal employees in their respective agencies come to serve the citizens of San Juan. We recognize that we all have the presumption of innocence until the contrary is proved, as on previous occasions, we proceeded to the suspension of the employee,” Yulin Cruz said in a statement. “We want to make it clear that the reason why he was arrested has nothing to do with his duties in the Municipality of San Juan.”
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The government is seeking to seize $76 million in alleged drug profits and four properties.
All suspects are facing a minimum of 10 years in prison, said Rodriguez.