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Drug Smuggler Called ‘The Hardware Dealer’ Gets 14 Years For Using American Airlines Flights To Ship Coke From DR to PR

 

Drug Enforcement Administration officers escort a handcuffed suspect after his arrest on drug smuggling charges in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, June 6, 2012. U.S. federal agents say they raided Puerto Rico's international airport and other areas early Wednesday, arresting at least 33 people suspected of smuggling millions of dollars' worth of drugs aboard commercial flights. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
Drug Enforcement Administration officers escort a handcuffed suspect after his arrest on drug smuggling charges in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, June 6, 2012. U.S. federal agents say they raided Puerto Rico’s international airport and other areas early Wednesday, arresting at least 33 people suspected of smuggling millions of dollars’ worth of drugs aboard American Airlines commercial flights. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

SAN JUAN – Carlos Arce-López, aka “Ferretero,” was sentenced to 14 years in prison Thursday for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, according to U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Velez.

On April 23, 2015, Arce-López pled guilty to three counts from two separate indictments, charging conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. He also pled guilty to money laundering in connection to drug trafficking.

In the first indictment, criminal case 12-413(FAB), 20 people were charged for aiding and abetting each other, and conspiring to possess with intent to distribute in excess of 9,000 kilograms of cocaine, aboard American Airlines commercial flights.

At times pertinent to this indictment, convicted felon Wilfredo Rodríguez-Rosado, aka “Mogoyo” recruited and organized a group of individuals to package, transport and deliver suitcases loaded with kilograms of cocaine to the American Airlines cargo area at the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport.

Moreover, he recruited and organized a group of American Airlines employees to ensure that those suitcases were smuggled into American Airlines flights destined to Miami and Orlando, Florida and Newark, NJ.

In the second indictment, Criminal Case 13-148(FAB), Arce-López participated in a conspiracy in which $800,000 of illegal proceeds were going to be used to purchase over 150 kilos of cocaine in the Dominican Republic to import into Puerto Rico.

His role was to provide the money and to coordinate with other coconspirators the importation of multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico.

Arce-López also traveled to the Dominican Republic from Puerto Rico to meet with other co-conspirators to plan and coordinate the transportation of multi-kilogram loads of cocaine by boat.

The cases were investigated by the DEA, the PRPD, and the FBI, with the collaboration of the San Juan Municipal Police.

Arce-López was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Francisco Besosa. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Olga Castellón-Miranda.

https://www.fbi.gov/sanjuan/press-releases/2012/forty-five-individuals-indicted-in-puerto-rico-for-drug-trafficking

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region since 1989. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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