Dozens charged in Milwaukee-Puerto Rico drug trafficking operation

Published: Jan. 16, 2020 at 10:21 AM CST
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Twenty people from Milwaukee as well as six more who live in Puerto Rico face major drug charges following a joint investigation into large trafficking operation between the Wisconsin city and the Caribbean island, the Wisconsin Department of Justice announced.

Twenty-two of the suspects were rounded up Wednesday as part of the effort, Attorney General Josh Kaul said. He added that local, state, and federal authorities also served warrants in Milwaukee and Puerto Rico, seizing approximately 15 kilograms of cocaine, at least 50 grams of heroin, at least 80 grams of crack cocaine, 35 guns, and over a quarter-million dollars.

“This case shows the impact that intensive investigations targeting large-scale drug trafficking can have,” Attorney General Kaul said in a statement.

The Department of Justice explained the investigation, dubbed Operation Island Hopper, had been going on for years and included the DEA, ATF, the Postal Service, Milwaukee and New Berlin police, along with several other agencies.

The individuals charged were listed as (by city):

  • Jose Gonzalez-Collado, 28
  • Hector Yamil Rodriguez-Rodriguez, 28
  • Marcos Aponte-Lebron, 40
  • Vladimir Rodriguez-Rodriguez, 25
  • Steven Cortes-Irizarry, 38
  • Kevin Torees-Bonilla, 29
  • Andros Martinez-Pellot, 30
  • Eric Rosa, 32
  • Kadeja Lewis, 29
  • Yadier Rosario, 23
  • Julio Rivera-Ramirez, 51
  • Rafael Rivera-Quinones, 34
  • Ricardo Bonilla, 48
  • Jose Burgos-Rivera, 42
  • Jomar Laboy-Silva, 27
  • Enid Martinez, 32
  • Alexander Morales-Rivera, 27
  • Wilberto Santiago-Martinez, 38
  • Julio Seda-Martinez, 39
  • Jose M. Aviles-Gonzalez, 25
  • David Quinones-Quinones, 48
  • David Joel Quinones-Rios, 29
  • Roberto Orench-Feliciano, 27
  • Carlos Omar Concepcion-Rivera, 31
  • Yashira Jehovalis Cortes-Nieves, 24
  • Keishla M. Orench-Feliciano, 27

Federal prosecutors says 37 people have been charged with sending cocaine and other drugs from Puerto Rico to Wisconsin and elsewhere in the country using the U.S. Postal Service.

The United States Attorney’s Office in Wisconsin said Thursday the drugs were sold in the state, as well as cities in the East Coast and Southwest.

Prosecutors declined to name the cities.

Prosecutors say in a 227-page criminal complaint that at least $1.3 million of the proceeds from the drug sales was sent back to Puerto Rico.

Over 300 officers executed warrants in Wisconsin and Puerto Rico.

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