SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Today, U.S. District Court Judge Raúl M. Arias-Marxuach sentenced Juan Laureano-Miranda, a.k.a. “Juanchy” to 78 months imprisonment and 72 months of supervised release for his involvement in a drug trafficking conspiracy, announced United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations was in charge of the investigation, with the collaboration of and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Puerto Rico Police Department, Arecibo Strike Force, and the Puerto Rico Bureau of Special Investigations.
On July 17, 2019, a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned an indictment against 14 defendants for firearms and drug trafficking violations. Eleven other defendants already pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing, while two other defendants are pending trial.
On January 24, 2020, Laureano-Miranda had pled guilty to possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and possessing with the intent to distribute crack cocaine. As noted above, the charged drug conspiracy included 14 defendants, who all possessed multiple firearms, in furtherance of the distribution of heroin, crack cocaine, cocaine, and marihuana at the Villa Evangelina Public Housing Project in Manatí, Puerto Rico. During their investigation, Homeland Security Investigations obtained surveillance video of the 14 defendants openly carrying multiple types of firearms, including high-capacity rifles and pistols, to take control over the public housing project and distribute narcotics in front of children and families. Assistant U.S. Attorney David T. Henek was in charge of the prosecution of the case and was assisted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard T. Passanisi.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a federal program designed to bring together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The PSN program was reinvigorated in 2017, as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting each community’s most violent criminals. All U.S. Attorney’s Offices work in partnership with federal, state, and local law enforcement, as well as the local civilian community, to develop effective, targeted strategies to reduce violent crime. This case is a product of that collaborative effort.
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