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06/13/2013

HSI, PRPD arrest Las Piedras resident; seize marijuana, illegal weapons

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — As part of Operation Caribbean Resilience, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, working jointly with Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) officers, arrested a man allegedly associated with a drug trafficking organization operating in the Las Piedras-Juncos area Wednesday.

Jalmar Diaz-Melendez, 30, was arrested at a residence located in Parcelas La Pica, Quebrada Grande, Las Piedras, during the execution of a state search warrant. During the search warrant, law enforcement officials discovered approximately 64 small bags of marijuana, one 40-caliber Smith & Wesson pistol, two magazines and 15 rounds of ammunition.

Diaz-Melendez had his initial hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marcos Lopez Wednesday. He was transferred 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 in conjunction with the PRPD and the San Juan Police Department. The operation was created in response to the unprecedented number of violent crimes committed in Puerto Rico during the past two years. The operation has netted more than 554 criminal arrests, the seizure of more than 456 illegal arms and 22,689 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 and Cayey since it was launched in January 2012.