Operation Falcon is the lead story in the Dominican Republic with reporters filing stories based on accusations drafted by the Public Prosecutor’s Office. After decades of tolerance by the local justice, drug control authorities, intelligence, military and banking authorities, drug traffickers have found it harder to get by with the change of government. As reported, incumbent Attorney General Miriam German has offered full support of state prosecutors that are now working closely with the new authorities at the National Drug Control Agency. This has resulted in the first crackdown on the previously untouchable capos. For years, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had sought support to prosecute the traffickers. The change of government has now made the difference.
In the Operation Falcon bust that began last 8 September 2021, the public prosecutors arrested 21 accused of being part of the drug trafficking and money laundering ring. On the run are many, including Erick Randhiel Mosquea Polanco (El Hombre, El Sony 7, El Chiquito, and Chite), said to be the head of the criminal network.
Suspended government official Juan Maldonado Castro is under arrest in the case. He is a former four-term deputy for the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD). He left the PRD to join the ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) and was appointed to the Comunidad Digna welfare agency in the Abinader administration. His wife Faustina Guerrero (Gray Maldonado) was voted deputy in Congress for the ruling Modern Revolutionary Party for the 2020-2024 legislative term.
Maldonado Castro was arrested when driving along with deputy Hector Dario Feliz (PRM-Pedernales) late in the evening on Wednesday, 8 September 2021. Prosecutor Yeni Berenice Reynoso said the Maldonado sought the cover of the parliamentary immunity of Feliz to escape prosecution. Inside the vehicle several luxury watches, firearms and cell phones were impounded during the arrest of Maldonado. Feliz was not arrested at the time because of his parliamentary immunity but is under investigation.
Vice Admiral Jose Manuel Cabrera Ulloa of the DNCD is now working closely with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to prosecute the drug traffickers. It is now known that several of the drug ring directors lived and operated in Santiago in the north, the capital city of Santo Domingo and La Altagracia and Miches in El Seibo in the east, as reported in N Digital.
N Digital reports that the command center of the international drug trafficking and money laundering network was in Santiago. The public prosecutors explain that heads of the operation that lived in Santiago were: Maria Olimpia Taveras Rodriguez (the Cocaine Princess), resident of La Esmeralda sector; Victor Elpidio Altagracia Paulino Herrera (El Gordo), in Cerro Hermoso; Lennin Vladimir Torres Bueno, Urbanizacion Thomen; Delfina Asuncion Polanco, El Ensueño; Jose Miguel Castillo Taveras (Migue) and Elva Teresa Polanco, La Zurza II; Juan Carlos Duran Rodriguez, La Espanola and Juan Antonio Taveras Rodriguez, El Embrujo.
The municipality of Miches in the east was vital because it was where the cocaine arrived by sea and then was redistributed to other parts in the country for export to the United States and Europe. Miches was a fishermen’s community many years ago that would evolve into a major people smuggling point for illicit travel to Puerto Rico, and then in more recent years the town became a major drug point.
As reported by the prosecutors, key drug trafficking participants in Miches included Adolfo Antonio Torres (Tony, El Presidente), in Borinque sector; Julio César Jiménez Taveras, Raúl Antonio Castro Mota, (Salto de Jalda) and Angélica María Maldonado Peralta.
Santo Domingo was the headquarters of operations of Juan Maldonado Castro (Marcial, El Líder), the former director of the government agency Comunidad Digna, a resident of Los Cacicazgo. Others operating in Santo Domingo are: Yana Iris Maldonado Castro, who lived in El Vergel; Ana María Collado Marte, El Millón; Erick Fernando Méndez Gómez, Las Palmas de Alma Rosa (SDO) and Felipe Espino Germán, in Herrera.
In La Altagracia province, those in charge were: Luis Daniel Nieves Bautista was a resident of Bávaro; Juan Bautista Carpio Reynoso, lived in Higüey and José Alejandro de la Cruz Morales, in Punta Cana.
15 September 2021