SAN JUAN. - One of the alleged top links between Jose Figueroa Agosto and Ramon Antonio del Rosario Puente (Toño Leña) in Dominican Republic surrendered to U.S. authorities in Puerto Rico, where he faces drug trafficking charges.
Pascual Jesus Cabrera Ruiz, from the eastern city La Romana and one of several suspects in Figueroa’s network expected to turn themselves in, decided to surrender when learning of imminent indictments against him and others such as del Rosario, being held in Santo Domingo awaiting transfer to Puerto Rico, for arraignment in federal court.
Cabrera, whose drug trafficking conviction of 30 years in prison in his country was overturned by a court on alleged lack of evidence, gathered drugs sent by air and sea to Figueroa from Colombia, to then take to marinas used to send it to Puerto Rico.
The DEA was on Cabrera’s trail for a long time, news source eldia.com.do reports, quoting intelligence sources, in Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo. “There’s strong evidence that other people, including ex officials, are also involved.”
It’s likely, the source said, that Cabrera will appear in court today, when Santo Domingo prosecutor Alejandro Moscoso is expected to send a detailed report and evidence from the Drugs Control Agency (DNCD), to bolster a possible trial against the suspect. They said he’s also linked to an individual identified as Alfredo Rodriguez “Niño Pata Corta” (Boy Short Leg), gunned down March 10 in La Romana, where Juan Arturo Donastorg, deported from U.S., was also killed.
Cabrera’s unexpected surrender comes just one day after several DEA, FBI and U.S. Customs agents, and Federal prosecutor Timothy Henwood came to the Dominican capital to interrogate Eddy Brito, said to be one of Figueroa’s top lieutenants.
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“He’s detained in Puerto Rico for letting his US residence expire,” Julín Cabrera, a lawyer and former judge in La Romana, and the defendant’s relative told eldia.com.do by phone. “Now he has found out that he has an open case,” but didn’t provide details.
The U.S. State Department 2000 report called Cabrera’s January, 1998 arrest on drugs one of the country’s most significant accomplishments, leading to the confiscation of more than 1,000 kilos of cocaine and US$1.4 million.
On February 2, 1998, the authorities filed alleged evidence against him, against Martin Cordero (Andres), and Camilo Perez Diloné (Bimbín), said to be part of the ring known as the “La Romana Cartel.”