Attorney General Josh Kaul. (Contributed)

AG announces criminal charges in massive drug trafficking ring

By Patrick Lynn

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul today announced indictments in a massive traffick operation of cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl Puerto Rico and Milwaukee.

The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Matthew D. Krueger, has charged 26 individuals with trafficking at least five kilograms or more of cocaine as well as distributable quantities of trafficking heroin and fentanyl.

“This case shows the impact that intensive investigations targeting large-scale drug trafficking can have,” said Attorney General Kaul. “When local, state, and federal investigators work together, as they have in this case, we can disrupt the supply of narcotics to Wisconsin and help people avoid addiction.”

Teams of federal, state, and local law enforcement officers arrested 22 defendants on Jan. 15, a statement from Kaul’s office said. Search warrants executed in both Milwaukee and Puerto Rico uncovered about 15 kilograms of cocaine, at least 50 grams of heroin, at least 80 grams of crack cocaine, 35 firearms (25 handguns, 8 rifles, one fully automatic handgun, and one sawed-off shotgun) and approximately $267,000 in U.S. currency.

The defendants charged in this law enforcement action, called Operation Island Hopper, are:

Jose Gonzalez-Collado, 28, Milwaukee
Hector Yamil Rodriguez-Rodriguez, 28, Milwaukee
Marcos Aponte-Lebron, 40, Milwaukee
Vladimir Rodriguez-Rodriguez, 25, Milwaukee
Steven Cortes-Irizarry, 38, Milwaukee
Kevin Torres-Bonilla, 29, Milwaukee
Andros Martinez-Pellot, 30, Milwaukee
Eric Rosa, 32, Milwaukee
Kadeja Lewis, 29, Milwaukee
Yadier Rosario, 23, Milwaukee
Julio Rivera-Ramirez, 51, Milwaukee
Rafael Rivera-Quinones, 34, Milwaukee
Ricardo Bonilla, 48, Milwaukee
Jose Burgos-Rivera, 42, Milwaukee
Jomar Laboy-Silva, 27, Milwaukee
Enid Martinez, 32, Milwaukee
Alexander Morales-Rivera, 27, Milwaukee
Wilberto Santiago-Martinez, 38, Milwaukee
Julio Seda-Martinez, 39, Milwaukee
Jose M. Aviles-Gonzalez, 25, Milwaukee
David Quinones-Quinones, 48, Puerto Rico
David Joel Quinones-Rios, 29, Puerto Rico
Roberto Orench-Feliciano, 27, Puerto Rico
Carlos Omar Concepcion-Rivera, 31, Puerto Rico
Yashira Jehovalis Cortes-Nieves, 24, Puerto Rico
Keishla M. Orench-Feliciano, 27, Puerto Rico

The defendants were charged based on a multi-year investigation led by law enforcement agents and officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the North Central High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Milwaukee Police Department, and the City of New Berlin Police Department.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert Brady and Gail Hoffman.