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Federal authorities make arrests in the Cabo Rojo area for drug trafficking

Three years after the alleged conspiracy, a federal Grand Jury issued an indictment against 20 alleged members of an organization that engaged in drug trafficking in the Cabo Rojo area.

The gang called itself “Los Lobos” and, according to the federal prosecutor’s office, spread terror in the Santa Rita de Casia residential complex and other sectors of Cabo Rojo between 2015 and 2019.

US Attorney Stephen Muldrow said authorities have dealt “hits” on the organization in the past, dismantling that particular group.

However, he explained that “some members continued to sell drugs” after the date on which the alleged conspiracy ended. “It’s what we call a historic drug trafficking conspiracy,” he said.

He pointed out that between 2015 and 2019, they distributed different types of controlled substances such as cocaine, crack, marijuana and Percocet, generating at least $21 million.

He added that they moved the drug points to different places in the residential “to avoid being detected by the Police. Also, if the clients requested it, they made ‘delivery’ of narcotics in the Cabo Rojo area”.

Of the 20 defendants, Muldrow explained that ten were arrested today in Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, in the United States, one was arrested today in Buffalo, another in Florida and one in Wisconsin.

Four were already in prison, including the alleged leader of the gang, Juan Gabriel Rivera Surita, alias “Gaby.”

As fugitives, the co-defendants Alexander Olivo Franqui, alias “El Menor”; Juan Paul Lamboy Palermo, alias “Jampi”; and Brenda Rodriguez Rosado.

Muldrow noted that while operating, gang gunmen “used firearms to protect themselves and the drug trafficking organization.”

“He added that they used force, violence and intimidation to maintain control of the areas in which they operated,” he added.

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“They often attacked rival drug traffickers as well as members of their own organization to intimidate and maintain control of the drug trade. Sometimes they burned the cars of others to intimidate them and maintain control of the drug trafficking operation, “he added.

For his part, the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Joseph González, stressed that some of the defendants were involved in attacks against law and order agents.

He stressed that at least six of the arrests were “tactical”, referring to the fact that they were previously detained, due to the “violence” of the individuals.

He pointed out that the gang called itself “Los Lobos”. Its members had tattooed images alluding to the organization and by signs they made among themselves.

In addition to the FBI, agents from the Homeland Security Investigations Office (HSI), federal marshals and officers from the Puerto Rico Police “Strike Force” also participated in the operation.

“Today the Wolves will be howling in the federal prison because justice was done to the residents of Cabo Rojo and the Mayagüez area,” said Police Commissioner Antonio López Figueroa.

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