ARECIBO, Puerto Rico - A 37-year-old Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) police officer and three conspirators, who allegedly provided security to drug traffickers and accepted payment to facilitate the transportation of narcotics, were arrested here yesterday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) special agents.
The indictment was the culmination of a joint ICE and FBI undercover investigation that began last October. According to the March 18, charging document, Felix Rosa-Soto, a patrol officer in the Bayamon North Precinct, received $7,000 in exchange for his services.
The fallen police officer and suspected conspirators, Jonathan Ocaña-Pagán, Joel Crespo-Sein and Victor Jiménez Martínez, were charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 200 kilograms of cocaine.
"The individuals charged today have put many individuals at risk with their drug trafficking activities. Defendant Rosa-Soto abused his position of trust by accepting payment to facilitate the transportation of drugs in the community which he was bound to protect as a law enforcement officer. The US Attorney's Office will vigorously prosecute these individuals to the full extent of the law," stated United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodráguez-Vélez.
"These arrests prove our commitment to keep drugs off the streets of Puerto Rico," said Roberto Escobar-Vargas, acting special agent in charge of ICE's Office of Investigations in Puerto Rico. "We will continue using all our resources and soliciting the support of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to dismantle drug trafficking organizations in our area of responsibility."
"It's a shame a few corrupt police officers continue to stain the badge, honor and integrity of the good men and women of the Police of Puerto Rico," said Luis Fraticelli, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI - San Juan Field Office.
Penalties for the offenses alleged are ten years to life incarceration and a fine up to $4 million.
The prosecution is case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Anderson.
Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt.A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.