|San Juan.- Puerto Rico’s judicial authorities affirm in the indictment on drug trafficking against Antonio del Rosario Puente (Toño Leña) that Dominican authorities helped him and his criminal network with “logistics” and “intelligence” to transport cocaine and heroin from South America to Dominican Republic, and then to U.S. territory.
“The accused and his companions would obtain intelligence and assistance from corrupt officials for the purpose of promoting his drug trafficking activities,” says the indictment submitted by the Puerto Rico Office of the Federal Prosecutor against “Toño Leña” in case number 3:10 - cr-00219-JAG, quoted by news source eldia.com.do.
It orders the defendant to be taken to the court in Puerto Rico to face the charges against him and to initiate the extradition request, begun on June 16.
Del Rosario faces three charges of drug trafficking, which carry around 20 years in prison in each and leaves open the possibility of including money laundering.
The document signed by Puerto Rico federal prosecutors Rosa Emilia Rodriguez Vélez, Timothy Henwood and Sean Torriente also identifies del Rosario as “Toño Leña,” “El Maestro,” “El Charly,” “El Palo,” “El Bate” “El Tronco,” “El Muelú” and “El Francés.”
The indictment comes just months after two senior Dominican Navy officers surrendered to the U.S. authorities, accused of using Navy vessels to protect drug shipments by sea.
Earlier article in DominicanToday from October 21 - 2009 is comfirming the situation:
Diplomatic note unveils Dominican Navy officers’ role in drug trafficking
SANTO DOMINGO.- With the held of officers of the Navy, Heriberto Almonte Reyes and three other Colombians coordinated the airdrop of 1,000 kilos of cocaine from an airplane, in the outskirts of San Pedro (east).
Almonte’s brother Eduardo accompanied the shipment from Colombia as a guarantee for the dealers, on March 15, 2008.
United States Embassy Diplomatic Note 201, sent to the Justice Ministry, says the U.S. authorities had previously alerted the agents of the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF) on the pending shipment. “When the aircraft was one hour from the Dominican Republic, the United States officials contacted the military of the Dominican Republic and asked them if they could stop the aircraft."
Almost immediately, a confidential source said, Almonte was tipped off by his military contacts and spurred the Colombians to notify the aircraft to return. "In addition, military officials of the Dominican Republic informed the authorities of the United States that the aircraft was an authorized military flight," says the note.
Carlos Rossó Peña told a confidential source that he is one of the around 30 officers who provides security for the drug smugglers.
In June 2007, the CCSF -formed by DEA, FBI and Customs agents- and the DNCD began an investigation of an organization which transported many kilos of cocaine and heroin from Colombia used the country as its operational base, was headed by Almonte.
The Navy officers Rossó Peña and Miguel Suárez Silfa, also used their positions, influence and access to military intelligence to provide security for inbound and outbound shipments.
Rossó had been paid US$30,000 to provide protection for a cocaine shipment, and Suárez Silfa received the440 kilos of the drug.