Dominicans bust first real cocaine lab near Santo Domingo, military link

Authorities in the Dominican Republic have discovered an underground lab for processing cocaine, the first ever found in a Caribbean country that has been experiencing a surge in drug seizures, officials said Monday.

The clandestine lab was found beneath a grove of fruit trees on a ranch near the village of Sabana Toro, about 25 miles west of Santo Domingo.


The Dominican Republic has reported record seizures of cocaine for each of the past three years, and the country has become a transit zone for drugs destined for Europe and the United States.

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Authorities suspect Dominican military link to busted cocaine lab -  Investigators are on the lookout for other members , including military, of a drug trafficking network that operated a cocaine lab in a farm raided by police at San Cristobal (south), the first of its kind ever found in Dominican territory.

The ring of Dominicans, Colombians, Venezuelans and Curacao nationals forged ties with members of the Armed Forces during its operations which encompassed the coasts from Azua in the west to Santo Domingo province in the east, from where all of the processed drugs were sent abroad.

The authorities acknowledge however that it’s difficult to specify the number of shipments of base and cut cocaine which the ring smuggled into the country, sent by Colombia’s Norte del Valle Cartel.

Calderon Rijo

The ring managed to set up such a strong structure that despite the December 2012 arrest of one of its key leaders after a high speed chase at sea, it continued its operation.

According to outlet, the arrest of Jose Calderon Rijo was the result of his indiscretions in public places, and was apprehended with 10 packets of cocaine, though authorities suspect he hurled 800 kilos overboard.

Calderon Rijo "La Araña” (the spider) also appeared at the National Drugs Control Agency’s (DNCD) radar along with other members of his organization when Peravia (south) province senator Wilton Guerrero revealed the smuggling of 1,200 packages of cocaine and the subsequent execution of a Naval Intelligence (M -2) agent for allegedly notifying his superiors about it,


16 suspected as part of international drug trafficking ring arrested - N — Agents with the Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation unit along with police from Shamokin, Coal Township and Ralpho Township rounded up 16 individuals Thursday suspected of being a part of an international drug trafficking organization involving heroin and cocaine that stretched from the Dominican Republic to Luzerne and Northumberland counties.
Based on the testimony of two statewide grand juries, the ring leader, Juan Carlos Alvarez, from the Dominican Republic, but currently incarcerated in federal prison, supplied local users and dealers with bulk quantities of heroin and cocaine since at least 2008. Testimony states Alvarez routinely supplied Pennsylvania associates each week, culminating into what the AG’s office said amounted to kilos of cocaine and heroin locally.
Those arrested were arraigned before Magisterial District Judge John Gembic, of Shamokin, and placed in either Northumberland County prison, returned to other prisons where they were previously incarcerated or received unsecured supervised bail.


Three bodies found in a torched pickup(Update2) - The bodies of three men were found Wednesday morning in a white pickup truck that had been torched in a field near the sugar mill at the village Yaguate, San Cristobal (south).

According to preliminary reports, one of the victims is a Police sergeant who had gone to help the driver of the pickup out of a muddy stretch of road.

The National Police said the bodies were inside a few sacks and that one of the deceased is one of its agents.

The grizzly find has rattled the town, as the crime’s motive has yet to be determined.

Police agents and crime scene investigators have arrived at the site.


Largest Caribbean drug case points to high level corruption in Dominican Republic, Update - Mexican drug cartel active in DR!

Go back | Date: 10 Oct 2013
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