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ICE HSI, local, federal and international partners nab most wanted drug lord

SAN JUAN, P.R. — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), working jointly with the U.S. Marshals, the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) and the Dominican Republic National Police (DRNP), arrested one of the most notorious drug traffickers Friday in the Caribbean Basin in the Dominican Republic.

Miguel Diaz-Rivera, 39, aka El Bolo, was arrested by DRNP officers when he left his alleged hideout in Holguin de Herrera in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Subject to a federal arrest warrant for drug trafficking, Diaz-Rivera has been a fugitive since 1998. On Saturday, he was escorted to Puerto Rico by ICE HSI and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agents, U.S. Marshals and PRPD officers in a U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement (CBP) Air and Marine Branch aircraft.

"The arrest of 'El Bolo,' after years of evading law enforcement, is the result of the unparalleled collaboration between ICE HSI, Puerto Rico Police Department, the Dominican Republic National Police, as well as other local, state, and federal partners," said Roberto Escobar Vargas, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Puerto Rico. "The arrest should send a strong message to drug traffickers in our area of responsibility that we will not rest until those responsible for the importation of illegal drugs into the United States are brought to justice."

ICE HSI agents have extensive knowledge of the border environment and techniques employed by smuggling organizations to transport contraband into the United States. This expertise has been gained through years of experience in conducting undercover operations, utilizing confidential informants, special enforcement operations and conducting contraband smuggling investigations.

The methods used by smuggling organizations are always changing and through continued training, the use of emerging technologies and dedication, ICE has maintained its expertise in disrupting and dismantling these criminal organizations.

Diaz-Rivera was transferred to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, awaiting the outcome of his case.