SAN JUAN – At least 30 members of the same gang engaged in trafficking drugs at a public housing project in San Juan were arrested Tuesday, also charged with illegal possession of arms.
The head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Puerto Rico, Angel Melendez, told Efe that the gang’s center of operations was in the Nemesio Canales building next to Plaza Las Americas, the biggest shopping mall in the Caribbean.
“It’s an organization considered to be extremely violent, well organized, that has its leaders, drug suppliers and others who provide security for gang members,” Melendez said.
Those in custody are on the list of suspects drawn up by the Office of the U.S. Attorney in San Juan, which includes the names of others who have mostly been arrested, tried and jailed previously.
Collaborating in this operation have been the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Puerto Rico Police Department and Border Patrol.
The economic crisis that Puerto Rico has been going through for the past seven years has not helped eliminate one of the island’s main problems: streets that have become the scene for settling scores between criminal gangs trying to control drug points of sale.