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Man Found Guilty of Drug Trafficking

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – On September 15, 2022, a federal jury convicted Carlos J. Reyes-Rosario, a.k.a. “Carlitos El Mea,” of five counts for drug trafficking in the municipalities of Caguas, Cidra, and Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico. He faces a minimum sentence of 5 years in prison.

Convict Reyes-Rosario was charged on December 8, 2017, along with 43 other defendants with conspiracy to distribute heroin, crack, cocaine, marihuana, Percocet, and Xanax at the Turabo Heights, Brisas del Turabo, Juan Jiménez-García, Práxedes Santiago, Jardines de Cidra, and Vistas de Jagüeyes Public Housing Projects and other areas nearby the municipalities of Caguas, Cidra and Aguas Buenas, PR.

Evidence at trial proved that Reyes-Rosario was a gang leader at the Jardines de Cidra public housing project. The gang’s territory spanned the greater Caguas area and had as its main leader federal fugitive Nelson Torres-Delgado, a.k.a. “El Burro”. The jury heard evidence that upon the arrest and subsequent murder of a prior gang leader at Jardines de Cidra, Torres-Delgado appointed Reyes-Rosario to a leadership position. Reyes-Rosario served as the gang leader of Jardines de Cidra from late 2015 until the federal indictment came down.

Within Jardines de Cidra, armed drug dealers working under the leadership of Reyes-Rosario sold heroin, crack, cocaine, marijuana, and pills in broad daylight while residents, including families and children, went about their lives. The United States presented evidence that this gang routinely carried guns to include illegally modified automatic weapons. The gang engaged in violent territory wars to maintain control of drug sales in and around Caguas and their corresponding profits.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Puerto Rico Police Bureau (PRPB), specifically the Caguas Strike Force, were in charge of the investigation, with the collaboration of the DEA and the US Marshals.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the Gang Section, Corinne Cordero and R. Vance Eaton.

The case was investigated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). This multi-agency task force investigates and dismantles major drug trafficking organizations responsible for the movement of multi kilogram quantities of narcotics as well as the gang violence that is generated by drug trafficking.

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