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08/15/2013

HSI arrests one of Puerto Rico's most wanted fugitives

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents arrested one of the Puerto Rico Police Department's most wanted fugitives Wednesday in Cataño.

They arrested Edwin Sanchez-Cruz, aka Chispa, 37, at the Juana Matos public housing neighborhood during Operation Caribbean Resilience. The Puerto Rico Police Department had an active arrest warrant for Sanchez-Cruz on murder charges. He also had an outstanding federal arrest warrant for drug trafficking.

Sanchez-Cruz had his initial court hearing Thursday, and law enforcement officers transferred him to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo to await the outcome of his case.

As part of HSI's ongoing commitment to interrupt and dismantle criminal organizations and identify and arrest individuals involved in criminal activity, HSI San Juan launched Operation Caribbean Resilience in January 2012. HSI leads the operation with the Puerto Rico Police Department and the municipal police departments of San Juan, Ponce and Toa Alta. It was created in response to the unprecedented number of violent crimes committed in Puerto Rico during the past two years. The operation has resulted in more than 700 criminal arrests and the seizure of more than 566 illegal arms and 36,259 rounds of ammunition.

Operation Caribbean Resilience began in the municipality of Loiza, a town considered by law enforcement as an area of high-intensity criminal activity, but it has expanded to the areas of Carolina, San Juan, Guayama, Cayey, Bayamon, Humacao and Ponce.