The state authorities for the first time filed charges for organized crime violation to dismantle a bargain that allegedly conspired to steal vehicles that supplied a clandestine car sales market.
Prosecutor Carlos Rivera reported that the organized crime law against car theft suspects had never been used before.
"They had very sophisticated methods for car theft," Rivera said today at a press conference.
After an investigation that began in 2017, the authorities filled out 18 arrest warrants today, of which they were able to execute 15. One is coordinating his delivery through his lawyer, another is outside of Puerto Rico and another is still being sought. .
An employee of the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation and three women are among those arrested for allegedly belonging to the organization dedicated to the theft of motor vehicles.
The intervention was called "Operative Theft of Vehicles on Order". According to Rivera, the accused “They stalked the metropolitan area several days of the week identifying which vehicles to steal, by their specific brand and model”.
He said some cars were stolen to get the parts that were needed to fix cars that were going to be sold at auctions and others used by criminals to commit criminal acts.
"Some could steal a car in less than minutes and then some used sophisticated tools so that these cars could work with any key," Rivera said.
The prosecutor declined to comment when asked if there were car dealers involved or if any buyer had been charged.
In the course of the investigation, the Police occupied 15 stolen vehicles, most of the Hyundai brand, as well as two pistols, a revolver and a pound of marijuana.
The result of the operation also achieved the occupation of four vehicles that were used as part of the transactions.
Although they do not have an estimate of how much the bargain will have generated in profits over two years, Rivera said that at least for the 15 vehicles recovered by the accused, he earned between $ 9,000 to $ 10,000.
The chief of prosecutors, Arlene Gardón, said they used “aggressive investigation mechanisms, including the purchase of vehicles by (undercover agents)”.
He informed that a total of 185 charges were filed, counting the 18 defendants. Of that total, 26 complaints are for the crime of organized crime.
Judge Glen Velázquez Morales, of the San Juan Court, imposed a global bond of $ 13.8 million.
According to sources from this media, the group of criminals operated from Bayamón, Comerío, Vega Alta, Toa Alta and Barranquitas.
The leader of the organization was identified by the Bureau of Hurtados Vehicles as Juan Oriang Olivo, 27, against whom it weighs a bond of $ 4,200,000.
In the chain of command of the bargain, according to the investigation, they are followed by Alfredo Martínez, Jael Pantojas and Jumarie Salgado, who was identified as a facilitator. The trio operated from Vega Alta.
Pantojas is an employee of the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation. His task within the organization was to sell stolen vehicles.
The organization's operations in Comerío and Barranquitas were in charge of Adalberto Torres, Jorge Rivera and Aníbal Rivera Rivera.
Torres was responsible for the sale of stolen vehicles, according to the investigation.
The investigation also showed that the Vega Alta and Toa Alta region was directed by Kevin Vega Vega, the facilitator Osmarielis Castro, Pedro Cebollero, Ernie Rosa and Yatniel Ramos.
The others arrested were identified as Alejandro Murga, Marangely Vázquez, Gilbert Rodríguez and the facilitators José Luis Rodríguez and Albert Díaz.
The investigation shows that two vehicles were stolen in Bayamón and nine in San Juan.
Likewise, at least one car was stolen in the regions of Utuado, Arecibo and Caguas.
"The investigation revealed that there are a large number of groups that conspire to appropriate motor vehicles for the purposes of their criminal organizations," Gardón said.
The director of the Assistant Superintendent of Criminal Investigations, Lt. Col. Rolando Trinidad, confirmed that there are other organizations that are being investigated.
"We are raising intelligence to look for them at the time," he said.