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30 in custody, 3 at large after drug raid at Fajardo housing complex


Pedro Rosario Nieves public housing complex in Fajardo

By The Star Staff


As part of a raid called Operation Rescue Cariduro, federal law enforcement officials on Wednesday arrested 30 individuals who they say were part of a criminal organization that controlled drug trafficking in the eastern region of the island.


Most of the arrests took place at Pedro Rosario Nieves public housing complex in Fajardo. Three individuals, Xavier Edgardo González Rivera, José Ciales Romero and Edwin Lemuel Marcano Ferrer remain at large.


Joseph González, the agent in charge of the FBI San Juan Field Office, said the raid has disrupted the operation of a criminal organization that has done a great deal of damage to eastern island communities. The ring is suspected in 20 deaths in 2019 and trafficked heroin, cocaine, fentanyl and marijuana.


Timothy Henwood, deputy chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said the ring was led by Michael “la N” Molina Quiñones, one of the accused.


The criminal organization processed drugs in public housing apartments and, when asked by the press, the officials detailed that both empty and occupied apartments were used. The complex is managed by the Department of Housing, which failed to detect that the apartments were used for such illegal activities.


Federal officials said the Housing Department has cooperated with them in the operation.

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