SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Thirteen men and women were arrested earlier this month during a three-day operation targeting violent gang members throughout the San Juan metropolitan area by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and assisted by local law enforcement agencies.
The Puerto Rico Police Department, San Juan Police Department and the Puerto Department of Housing also participated in the operation.
This operation is the latest local effort in an ongoing national ICE-HSI initiative to target members and gang associates. The arrests took place in the Ramos Antonini public housing project, La Perla Ward, and other locations in the San Juan metropolitan area.
During the operation ICE HSI special agents, PRPD and SJPD officers seized the following items: two firearms, two pistol magazines, 43 rounds of ammunition, 20 bags of cocaine, three bags of heroin, 1.5 pounds of marijuana, seven portable radios and $1,722 in cash.
The following individuals were arrested on state charges. Two of them, Gabriel Casanova and Jason Torres are convicted felons who illegally possessed a firearm. Their cases have been presented to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico for prosecution.
- Jason Torres-Rodriguez, 23
- Ginerys Torres, 20
- Virginia Rodríguez, 38
- Angel Torres Rodríguez,19
- Luis Sanchez, 41
- Julisa Rivera, 34
- Carlos J. Morales-Figueroa, 21
- Melitza Y. Fontanez, 21
- Zuley M. Centeno, 18
- Kenneth R. Rivera-Fontanez, 21
- Gabriel Casanova-Yale, 21
- Armando Montalvo-Silva, 26
- Raysa E. Calderon-Garcia, 20
"Disrupting and dismantling violent gangs in our local communities is a top priority for ICE. It's why we are committed to working with our local law enforcement partners to combat this issue," said Roberto Escobar Vargas, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in San Juan. "These gangs not only deal in drugs, but their members commit violent crimes and terrorize our neighborhoods."
Gang enforcement is part of Operation Community Shield, a global initiative, in which ICE HSI partners with existing federal, state, local, and foreign anti-gang efforts to share intelligence on criminal gang organizations and their leadership, share resources and combine legal authorities to identify, locate, arrest, prosecute, imprison and/or deport transnational gang members.