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Tag: Puerto Rico

FBI: Puerto Rico Man Arrested for Aiming Laser Pointer at Police Helicopter

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As part of the FBI’s crackdown on people pointing lasers at aircraft, authorities arrested a Puerto Rican man Monday, the Associated Press reports.

The FBI arrested Christopher Jusino Rodriguez in the southern city of Ponce after he allegedly aimed the laser at a police helicopter during a security operation.

The green light was spotting coming from an apartment balcony, helping police locate Jusino.

The FBI said the suspect was using a handheld pointer known as a laser pen.

If convicted, Jusino faces up to five years in prison.

FBI Investigates Whether Man Jumped from Royal Carribean Cruise Ship

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Did he jump? Was it an accident?

The FBI is investigating how a 26-year-old man ended up overboard as a cruise ship sailed to Puerto Rico, UPI reports.

According to a Coast Guard statement, Tien Phuoc Nguyen intentionally jumped off the Royal Caribbean ship Adventure of the Seas on Saturday.

Nguyen was on the boat with family.

The ship turned around but Nguyen wasn’t found.

ICE: Crackdown on Crime Makes Puerto Rico, U.S. Safer

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. and Puerto Rico are safer today because of an anti-crime initiative aimed at putting more federal agents in Puerto Rico, Reuters reports.

Dubbed “Operation Caribbean Resilience,” the effort started in July 2012 but increased markedly over the last three months, according to Reuters.

In the past year, the operation has netted 320 arrests and the seizure of 170 guns, drugs and ammunition.

“Through our joint efforts … we have not only made the streets of Puerto Rico much safer, but also improved security in the mainland United States,” said John Sandweg, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The operation has begun to target drug gangs and criminal enterprises, Reuters reported.

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FBI Names New Special Agent in Charge of Puerto Rico Office

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A new FBI agent will oversee operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Carlos Cases, previously served as director for Latin America and the southwest border for the FBI’s criminal investigations division in Washington, D.C., will monitor crimes in U.S. territories from the San Juan, Puerto Rico office, the FBI announced.

Working outside of the mainland is nothing new for Cases. He worked at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City and also at the FBI office in Puerto Rico, where he played a role one of the bureau’s largest public corruption cases of local police.

Cases replaces Joseph Campbell, who served most recently as special agent in charge of the Puerto Rico office.

Puerto Rico Airport Was Hub in Major Drug Trafficking Bust

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Things got hot in Puerto Rico Thursday for two criminal organizations busted for massive-scale narcotics trafficking.

Thirty-six arrests were made in a major bust, culminating a collaboration between the DEA, the Puerto Rico PD, FBI, and San Juan Municipal Police.

It was all part of an effort to disable two criminal organizations which had based much of their drug trafficking out of Puerto Rico’s International Airport, reports Reuters.

Two indictments unsealed Wednesday charged 25 individuals with trafficking cocaine, and 20 more including American Airlines employees who exploited their security access to aid drug couriers, according to an FBI press release. The indictments allege that more than 61,000 pounds (28,000 kg) of cocaine have been smuggled out of PR on commercial flights to the U.S. mainland since 1999.

Laila Rico, a DEA Spokeswoman for the Caribbean Division, called the bust an important blow. She told Reuters, “The Puerto Rico airport is sought-after by drug dealers because it’s basically a mid-point between South American countries and the United States and offers an easy entry point,” Rico said.

To read more click here.

Agents File Suit Against DEA for Discrimination

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Some DEA agents in the Caribbean are not too happy with the way things are.

Ten Puerto Rican agents filed suit against the agency claiming they receive less pay and riskier assignments than agents sent to the island from the mainland, the Huffington Post reports.

Attorney Bamily Lopez Ortiz said on Monday that the agents were reluctant to file charges but felt deprived of bonuses and incentives given to agents hired on the mainland. The ten agents were all hired in Puerto Rico.

Because Puerto Rico is considered a high-intensity drug trafficking area, agents hired in the US to work in Puerto Rico are eligible for bonuses equal to a quarter of their base pay, meaning some Puerto Rican agents may be owed more than $100,000 in lost pay and damages, Lopez said.

To rea more click here.

50 Indicted in Fraudulent ID Trafficking Scheme in Puerto Rico

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Big goings on in Puerto Rico.

Fifty people have been charged in an indictment unsealed Wednesday in Puerto Rico with conspiracy to commit ID fraud as part of their alleged roles in an ID trafficking scheme. The charges were announced by leaders from the Justice Department, ICE, Homeland Securities Investigations, the US Postal Inspection Service, the State Department and the IRS.

A federal grand jury returned the one-count indictment on Dec. 29. Defendants were arrested Wednesday across Puerto Rico and the United States.

“The indictment unsealed today alleges that from April 2009 to December 2011, the defendants operated an extensive black market, identity fraud ring,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer. “The alleged conspiracy stretched across the United States and Puerto Rico, using suppliers, identity brokers and mail and money runners to fill and deliver orders for the personal identifying information and government-issued identity documents of Puerto Rican U.S. citizens.”

Authorities said brokers solicited and sold ID documents in the US for prices between $700 and $2,500 per set, using coded telephone calls to suppliers in Puerto Rico to place orders for the documents. They used terms like “shirts,” “uniforms” or “clothes,” to refer to the documents. “Specifically, the brokers asked for ‘skirts’ for female customers and ‘pants’ for male customers in various ‘sizes,’ which referred to the ages of the identities sought by the customers,” said the Justice Department.

The defendants 15 year maximum sentences and fines of $250,000.

Puerto Rico FBI Agent Drowns in Attempted Rescue

By The Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — An FBI agent who tried to rescue a swimmer in distress has drowned at a beach in northeast Puerto Rico, authorities said Friday.

Daniel Knapp, a 43-year-old agent who was based in San Juan, drowned on Thursday at Hidden Beach in the coastal city of Fajardo, the FBI said in a statement.Friends of the swimmer had asked Knapp for help, and he was able to reach the swimmer but was later overcome by rough ocean conditions, the FBI said.

“He died a hero, saving another life,” said local FBI director Joseph S. Campbell.

To read more click here.