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23 YEARS PER MURDER: Man Who Killed Two Park Rangers With Their Own Gun Gets 46 Years

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SAN JUAN – Jonathan Ortiz-Torres was sentenced today to 46 years in prison and five years of supervised release for interference of commerce by robbery, according to U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. Ortiz-Torres pled guilty on May 27, 2014.

On February 9, 2011, Jonathan Ortiz-Torres was charged, along with Ángel Santana-Espinet and Leroy Santana-Rosado, with violations of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951(b)(3) (interference of commerce by robbery); and Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(j), 924(a)(2), and 2 (possession of a stolen firearm). Ortiz-Torres and Santana-Espinet were also charged with violations of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 924(c)(1)(A), 924 (j) and 2 (possession and use of a stolen firearm).

According to the superseding indictment, on March 23, 2010, Ortiz-Torres and Santana-Espinet aiding and abetting each other, by force, violence and intimidation, did take one .9mm caliber Smith and Wesson pistol from P.R. Department of Natural Resources ranger Félix Rodríguez Gómez and Kenneth Omar Betancourt, then acting as security guards at Reparto Industrial in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico and shot and killed them. The men fled the scene but were later arrested by Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) officers after a high speed chase.

Defendant Ángel Santana-Espinet pleaded guilty on August 21, 2012, to count two of the superseding indictment, Possession of a Stolen Firearm, and was sentenced to 31 years in prison and eight years of supervised release.

Defendant Leroy Santana-Rosado pled guilty on March 24, 2014, to count one of the superseding indictment, Interference with Commerce by Threat of Violence, and was sentenced to 87 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Puerto Rico Police Department and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia Díaz-Rex.

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John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 50 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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