CNN: Dom Rep arrests 35 police/military plus 4 French in Punta Cana drug bust


(CNN) -- Authorities in the Dominican Republic have arrested 35 people -- including military, police and customs officials -- in a drug bust at the country's busiest airport.

The arrests were made in connection with the seizure of a private jet carrying 682 packets of cocaine in 26 suitcases, the country's drug enforcement agency said Thursday.

The plane had been scheduled to leave the Punta Cana International Airport for France, with a layover in the Azores, authorities said.

A lieutenant colonel, a major and four captains were among those arrested, authorities said. Four Frenchmen also were arrested.

The arrests were made after an investigation that began seven months ago, as investigators also tracked other cases involving the shipment of hundreds of kilograms of cocaine to different countries in Europe, drug enforcement officials said.


Jail, bail set in 700ks of cocaine seized at Punta Cana Airport - Permanent Instruction judge Edwin Rijo on Thursday morning ruled to send 32 defendants to spend one year in prison to await trial on charges of smuggling 700 kilos of cocaine seized at Punta Cana International Airport on  March 20.

Judge Edwin Rijo also set bail at RD$500,000 for eight others linked to the case, and one other was ordered placed under house arrest. The reading of the ruling against the other three was postponed for 4pm Friday.

The verdict, issued after 1am Thursday, came after the hearing that began 9:30am Wednesday, sets a RD$500,000 bond for Vladimir Brito Pérez; Jorge Ramos Pérez; Bartolo Marte; Luis Daniel Pérez; José Concepción; Luis Manuel Betaran; Zixto Alberto Familia and Deolocadio de Jesús Cruceta, while house arrest was ordered for Rafael Aníbal de la Rosa Tapia.

The judge sent French nationals Pascal Jean Furet, Bruno Armand Víctor Ados, Alain Marc Paul Marie Castaño and Nicolás Cristopher Pisapia to the correctional facility at Anamuya, in addition to Lt. Colonel José Brazobán Adames.

Throughout the day the defendant’s relatives held vigils and prayers outside the courthouse and after the hearing, some of them called the proceedings a "show" because the drug’s real owners weren’t present.


A few weeks later the next large shipment is discovered:

Two Tons of Cocaine Seized off Dominican Republic - Dominican authorities said 1,909 kilos (roughly 2.1 tons) of cocaine were seized early Wednesday off the country’s eastern coast and that a pair of Colombian suspects were arrested.


The drugs – discovered in 65 packets – were confiscated from a boat near Saona Island during an operation personally headed by the head of the Dominican Republic’s National Drug Control Directorate, Maj. Gen. Rolando Rosado Mateo, and navy Vice Adm. Edwin Dominici.

Four South Americans were riding in the boat, two of whom escaped.

U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration personnel also participated in the operation, Rosado Mateo and navy Rear Adm. Felix Alburquerque said in a press conference.

A DEA official had told Efe prior to the press conference that the characteristics of the packets indicate the cocaine originated in Colombia.

The Dominican Republic is a major transit point for South American drugs smuggled into the United States and Europe.


Dominican anti-drug agents seize cocaine in cacao shipment bound for Italy -Anti-drug agents in the Dominican Republic have uncovered a load of cocaine being smuggled out of the country amid a shipment of cacao, the raw ingredient in chocolate.

National Drug Control Agency spokesman Robert Lebron said Tuesday the 198 packets of cocaine were found in a container destined for Italy. The weight and value of the load was not yet available. Lebron said the container had been checked and sealed before agents returned and uncovered the drugs in the port of Caucedo.

The port east of Santo Domingo is the largest in the country and the only one with X-ray equipment for scanning containers. Dominican authorities have made record seizures of cocaine in each of the past three years, including several significant ones at the port.

Dominican Watchdog Note | The really good news is that former head of Dominican Drug agency finally is extradited to the United States for his active role in the Dominican drug trade, but this was many years ago...., what about those responsable today????

Ex-Official in Dominican Republic Smuggled Drugs: Prosecutors - The former head of anti-drug operations in the Dominican Republic was sent to New York on charges he was actually a drug dealer, according to federal prosecutors.

Francisco Antonio Hiraldo-Guerrero, a former Dominican military official, was extradited on charges of conspiracy to import and distribute hundreds of kilograms of cocaine into the U.S.

U.S Attorney Preet Bharara said it was "a classic case of the 'fox guarding the hen house.' Francisco Antonio Hiraldo-Guerrero was a corrupt public official who exploited his position atop the Dominican Republic’s drug control office to facilitate the importation of massive quantities of cocaine into the United States."

The one-time head of operations for that nation's drug enforcement agency arrived in New York over the weekend and was ordered held without bail.

Drug Enforcement agents and Homeland Security officials said Hiraldo-Guerrero had been involved in trafficking since 2001. He allegedly helped import 600 kilograms that year.

Officials said he also worked with international drug cartels to help smuggle cocaine from Colombia into the Dominican Republic.

"Hiraldo-Guerrero allegedly abused his ranking position within the military of the Dominican Republic and betrayed the public trust through his facilitation of drug trafficking," said New York's DEA director, Brian Crowell.

James Hayes of DHS said the 53-year-old Dominican official abused his authority for years. Court papers suggest a co-conspirator helped expose the alleged corruption.


Read more: Leaked WIKI cable: Leonel Fernandez feared the generals, many involved in drugs!


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

Go back | Date: 10 Apr 2013
Proud to be the most
factual DR news site!
We keep the stories
& investigations alive
that cozenage groups
want to hide or forget
Quick Search – All Articles
Video about DR's Sugar Barons
The horrible conditions of Haitian sugar cane workers in the Dominican Republic

The truth about Leonel
Must Watch This Video About President Leonel's DRUG CONNECTIONS!!

Top Stories
Most Read Stories
"This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of criminal justice, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research or any other non-commercial purposes."
Please support our work
1000 of hours are being
spend yearly on collecting
articles, investigations and
answering emails.