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HSI arrests defense attorney, legal broker on money laundering charges

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A defense attorney for notorious Puerto Rican drug lord Jose D. Figueroa-Agosto, aka Junior Capsula, and a legal broker were arrested Tuesday on money laundering charges by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents.

HSI special agents arrested defense attorney Ramon M. Negron-Colon, 58, and legal broker William Barreto-Ortiz, 64, at their residences in Bayamon and Hato Rey, respectively. The two men were named in an indictment filed in federal court last week.

According to the indictment, in 1995, Figueroa-Agosto, considered the Pablo Escobar of the Caribbean, was convicted of murder and sentenced to 208 years in prison from which he escaped in 1999. He remained a fugitive for more than a decade until HSI special agents arrested him on federal drug trafficking charges July 18, 2010.

The indictment alleges that Negron-Colon and Barreto-Ortiz attempted to nullify Figueroa-Agosto’s 208-year sentence by making illegal payments with proceeds from his drug trafficking enterprise. The indictment further alleges that in 2007, Negron-Colon indicated he needed to funnel $2.5 to $3 million in illegal payments to public officials to nullify Figueroa-Agosto’s conviction.

Both men face sentences of up to 20 years in prison.