The alleged Dominican drug trafficker César Emilio Peralta, alias “El Abusador”, extradited this Wednesday from Colombia to Puerto Rico, faces a possible sentence of between 10 years in prison and life imprisonment if convicted.
The Puerto Rico District Attorney’s Office reported today that Peralta is charged with conspiracy to import heroin and cocaine into the United States and of the distribution of five kilograms or more of cocaine for the purposes of illegal importation into that country.
“El Abusador” was extradited on this day from Colombia, where he was arrested on December 2, 2019, in the city of Cartagena after fleeing the Dominican Republic, which at that time considered him the largest drug trafficker in the country.
The first assistant federal prosecutor, Héctor Ramírez Carbó, said at a press conference in San Juan that Peralta is “a high-caliber drug trafficker analogous to what El Chapo is,” alluding to the former leader of the Sinaloa cartel.
Ramírez Carbó explained that Peralta’s organization was “very violent” and was involved in crimes of human trafficking and that in terms of drug trafficking, it used Puerto Rico as “a bridge to bring drugs to the United States. “
“Part of that drug always stays in Puerto Rico for local distribution, but most of it goes to certain cities on the east coast of the United States such as Philadelphia, New York, Newark, and Orlando,” he explained.
On August 20, 2019, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) identified Peralta and his gang as major foreign drug traffickers under the Kingpin Act, which designates drug lords. mafias.
“This arrest and extradition emphasizes the collaboration and cooperation among our law enforcement partners, as well as our commitment and resolve to combat transnational organized crime, “ said US Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow.
The federal prosecutor added in his statement that the efforts of multiple agencies will continue “to bring to justice those who ignore the laws and traffic in drugs in Puerto Rico and the continental United States.”
According to the note, Peralta was the leader of a transnational criminal organization based in the Dominican Republic that received shipments of several tons of cocaine from Colombia and Venezuela and transported them to Puerto Rico and the continental United States.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Max J. Pérez-Bouret, Chief of the Transnational Organized Crime Section, and Assistant US Attorney Jawayria Z. Auchter.
“El Abusador” was arrested months after the Dominican authorities issued a red alert to request the collaboration of the International Police (Interpol) in his search, since he fled after the dismantling of his gang in August 2019.
The anti-drug operation that dismantled the gang was unprecedented in the Dominican Republic due to its size, since it involved nearly 700 police and military personnel who were deployed simultaneously in dozens of the group’s premises.
In the operation, several leaders of the gang were arrested, some of whom were extradited to the United States, and shortly after, on August 27, 2019, Peralta’s own wife was arrested.