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Leader of racketeering organization charged with murder, attempted murder

NEW YORK — The leader of a massive racketeering organization was charged Tuesday in a 48-count indictment with 10 murders, 10 attempted murders, marijuana trafficking, money laundering and other charges.

The charges stem from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and the U.S Attorney for the Southern District of New York, with assistance from the FBI; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office; the Englewood Police Department; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; and the New York City Department of Investigation.

Manuel Geovanny Rodriguez-Perez, aka Shorty, 41, controlled a racketeering organization known as the "Rodriguez Enterprise," whose members sold large quantities of marijuana, murdered and attempted to murder 20 people, transported and laundered millions of dollars, obstructed justice and committed perjury, and engaged in firearms offenses.

The indictment was filed Monday in connection with "Operation Green Venom," a coordinated multi-agency investigation led by HSI and first announced in October 2010.

"As alleged, the Rodriguez Drug Trafficking Organization sought to maintain its vise grip on the drug trade throughout New York City by using murder and assaults on its competitors and workers alike," said James T. Hayes Jr., special agent in charge of HSI New York. "HSI and its law enforcement partners are committed to taking down drug organizations that wreak havoc on our neighborhoods."

"Today we announce the addition of no fewer than 10 murders and attempted murders to the already numerous alleged egregious acts of violence, drug trafficking, and other criminal conduct with which Manuel Rodriguez-Perez is charged," said Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. "This office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners until everyone involved in this enterprise is brought to justice."

"Individuals who traffic illegal drugs and give orders to take someone's life have no place in our city," said William J. Bratton, commissioner of the NYPD. "Thanks to the efforts of the investigators and prosecutors involved in this extensive case, these criminals will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

According to the allegations contained in the superseding indictment unsealed Monday in Manhattan federal court:

Rodriguez-Perez, the leader of the Rodriguez Enterprise, is charged with and10 attempted murders and 10 murders, including the following victims:

  • Francisco Perez, aka Francie, on Oct. 26, 1997;
  • Antonio Kasse, aka Toasty, on Dec. 13, 1998;
  • Name unknown, aka Carlos Valentin, aka Campi" in or about 2000;
  • Noel Herrera, on Dec. 29, 2001;
  • Kelly Perez, aka Red on Sept. 16, 2002;
  • Marino Molina, on Jan. 11, 2003;
  • Wilfredo Molina, aka Willie, on May 3, 2004;
  • Manuel Rivas, aka "Tony el Mono," on Oct. 29, 2005;
  • Richard Cabrera, aka Bori, on Jan. 16, 2006; and
  • Saturnino Delgado-Garcia, on May 1, 2011

Noel Herrera, Marino Molina, Manuel Rivas and Saturnino Delgado-Garcia were each murdered in the Dominican Republic. Wilfredo Molina was murdered in New Jersey, and the remaining victims were murdered in New York City. Rodriguez-Perez solicited the murder of Delgado-Garcia from prison.

The indictment seeks forfeiture of $25 million, which is the approximate amount of gross proceeds received by Rodriguez-Perez derived from racketeering activities, properties in New York, Florida and the Dominican Republic, and cash and jewelry seized by law enforcement officers.

Rodriguez-Perez has been in federal custody since Oct. 15, 2010, when he was arrested during a takedown of more than 50 members of a massive marijuana trafficking ring that transported ton-quantities of marijuana from Florida and California for distribution in the greater New York area from the early 1990s to 2010.

Rodriguez-Perez and eight other defendants were charged in July 2012, with, among other things, five murders and five attempted murders. Since that time, five of the defendants charged in that indictment have pleaded guilty to, among other things, multiple murders, marijuana trafficking, money laundering and firearms offenses.