Twenty-one Indicted on Drug Charges; Largest Ever Cocaine Seizure in Massachusetts History, Reports U.S. Attorney

Dec 21, 2001, 00:00 ET from U.S. Attorney

    BOSTON, Dec. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- A nine month  federal investigation has
 resulted in an indictment charging twenty-one individuals with federal drug
 and bribery charges and the seizure of a single 260 kilogram shipment of
 cocaine - the largest ever seizure in Massachusetts history.
     United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan; Vincent J. Mazzilli, Special
 Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in New England;
 Denis C. Riordon, Acting District Director of the Immigration and
 Naturalization Service in New England; Colonel Thomas Foley, Superintendent of
 the Massachusetts State Police; Leo J. Sullivan, Special Agent in Charge of
 the Social Security Administration; Office of Inspector General, George
 McLean, Chief of the Somerville Police Department; Kevin Barry, Chief of the
 Rowley Police Department; Michael Healy, Chief of the Westport Police
 Department; John M. Souza, Chief of the Fall River Police Department; Arthur
 J. Kelly, Chief of the New Bedford Police Department; Michael Maloney,
 Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections; Colonel Stephen
 Pare, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police; and Paul Walsh Bristol
 County District Attorney, announced today the indictment of twenty-one
 individuals on various drug charges relating to the distribution of cocaine.
     The following individuals were charged in a four count indictment with
 participating in a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine
 from July 2000 to December 2001:
     1.  RAFAEL YEJE-CABRERA, a/k/a "Ralph", a/k/a "Rolando", age 26, of 20
         Lepire Avenue, Westport, MA;
     2.  JOSE CABRERA, a/k/a "J", age 36 , of 1303 Phillips Road, New Bedford,
     3.  MIGUEL CABRERA, a/k/a "Mack", age 37, of 246 Bonin Street, New
         Bedford, MA;
     4.  JOSE YEJE, a/k/a "Ty", age 26, of 78 Charlotte White Road, Westport,
     5.  OMI MONTANEZ, a/k/a "Nene", age 25, of 73 Fern Street, New Bedford,
     6.  FARID YEJE, age 51, of Atlanta, GA;
     7.  MARCOS PEREZ, a/k/a "Marquito", of 55 79 Peckham Street, Fall River,
     8.  ROBERT LOPES, a/k/a "Bobby", age 28, of 984 Sharon Street, New
         Bedford, MA;
     9.  FABIANO MEDEIROS, age 26, of 1543 Cove Road, New Bedford, MA;
    10.  WILFREDO PEREZ, age 34, of 504 Quincy Street, Fall River, MA;
    11.  ABISMAEL CASTILLO, a/k/a "Isaac", a/k/a "Ish", age 27, of Woonsocket,
    12.  EMILIO VASQUEZ, a/k/a "Joel", of 62 Bridgham Street, Providence, RI;
    13.  RICCARDO CORONADO, a/k/a "Primo", age 40, of Tucson, AZ;
    14.  FAUSTO MENA, age 32, of Nogales, AZ;
    15.  FERNANDO DUARTE, age 34, of 56 Frederick Street, Fall River, MA;
    16.  ALEXANDER CORDERO, a/k/a "Crippled Alex", age 26, of 42 Brookside
         Avenue, North Providence, RI;
    17.  DEREK PERRY, age 30, of 800 Pleasant Street, New Bedford, MA;
    18.  NERYS CABRERA, age 47 , of 2075 Walton Avenue, the Bronx, NY;
    19.  WILLIAM OLIVIERO, a/k/a "Alejandro", a/k/a "K", age 24, of 2075 Walton
         Avenue, the Bronx, NY;
    20.  JOSE ARCENTALES, a/k/a "Crip", age 33, of the 1535 University Avenue,
         the Bronx, NY; and
    21.  JASON PACHECO, age 25, of 105 Cornell Road, New Bedford, MA.
     According to the indictment and an affidavit filed in support of a twelve
 search warrants, the individuals charged today are members of an extensive
 narcotics organization, alleged to be run by RAFAEL YEJE-CABRERA, which has
 ties to a Mexican drug cartel.  Boston DEA agents began investigating RAFAEL
 YEJE-CABRERA when his cellular telephone number was found in the electronic
 memory of another cellular telephone that had been inadvertently left behind
 in a trailer seized in New York on April 5, 2001.  That trailer contained
 cocaine and approximately $422,000 in cash.  It is alleged that this money was
 paid by YEJE-CABRERA to the drivers of the truck for cocaine that had been
 delivered to Massachusetts. The subsequent Massachusetts investigation
 identified the twenty-one individuals charged today as partners and workers in
 the organization, including both of YEJE-CABRERA's parents, his two uncles,
 his younger brother, and a cousin.
     During the course of the investigation, on December 8, 2001, RICCARDO
 CORONADO and FAUSTO MENA were arrested by a Massachusetts State Trooper
 following an accident investigation involving the tractor trailer truck they
 were driving.  A search of the tractor trailer revealed a false wall behind
 which was found, two hundred and sixty kilogram packages of cocaine - the
 largest ever seizure of cocaine in Massachusetts history, with an estimated
 street value of $20.8 million.
     Additionally, RAFAEL YEJE-CABRERA is charged in the indictment with
 bribing an INS Special Agent.  During the course of the investigation, YEJE-
 CABRERA was arrested on INS charges.  YEJE-CABRERA is alleged to have paid
 $100,000 in cash to an INS agent on August 15, 2001 as a bribe to ensure that
 he would not be deported from the United States.  YEJE-CABRERA is also to have
 later offered, but did not pay, an additional $30,000 to obtain information
 about possible DEA investigations of him and his two uncles, JOSE CABRERA and
     "The investigation leading to today's indictment has identified an
 extensive narcotics organization with ties to a Mexican drug cartel and
 resulted in the largest seizure of a single shipment of cocaine in
 Massachusetts history as well as over $680,000 in cash," said U.S. Attorney
 Sullivan. "The distribution ring in Massachusetts that RAFAEL YEJE-CABRERA is
 charged with running was a true 'family business' in which both his parents
 and four other family members were involved.  I would like to thank all of the
 state and federal agencies involved in this investigation and commend them for
 their hard work, superior professionalism and spirit of cooperation
     "The 260 kilogram, with an estimated street value of $20.8 million, is the
 largest cocaine seizure ever in the state of Massachusetts.  This
 investigation and its results demonstrate exactly how much can be accomplished
 conducting narcotic investigations utilizing the philosophy of targeting all
 levels and aspects of the entire drug distribution organization," said Special
 Agent in Charge Mazzilli.
     The government has alleged that certain real properties, vehicles and
 currency were all derived or purchased by the defendants with the proceeds of
 the alleged illegal activity or were used by the defendants in furtherance of
 the alleged illegal activities and are therefore subject to forfeiture to the
 United States.  The following real properties are being sought for forfeiture
 by the United States:
     1)  887-891 Brock Avenue, New Bedford, MA;
     2)  Old Bedford Road, Westport, MA;
     3)  1545 Cove Road, Unit N-2, New Bedford, MA;
     4)  1547 Cove Road, Unit Q-2, New Bedford, MA; and
     5)  1551 Cove Road, Unit Q-2, New Bedford, MA.
     The following vehicles are being sought for forfeiture by the United
     1)  One grey 2002 Cadillac Escalade, registered to RAFAEL YEJE;
     2)  One black 2001 Nissan Maxima, registered to OMI MONTANEZ;
     3)  One black 2000 BMW 540I, registered to Dolores Ramos;
     4)  One black 1998 Nissan Maxima, registered to JOSE YEJE;
     5)  One yellow 2000 Infiniti I30, registered to Melissa Padilla;
     6)  One blue 1999 Mercedes Benz, registered to ALEXANDER CORDERO;
     7)  One Blue 1998 Acura Legend, registered to ALEXANDER CORDERO;
     8)  One grey 2001 BMW, registered to JOSE CABRERA;
     9)  One black 2001 Nissan Pathfinder, registered to  JOSE CABRERA; and
    10)  One red 1998 Madza Millennium, registered to Jose Anibal Cabrera.
     The United States is also seeking to forfeit the $99,950 in cash alleged
 to have been paid by RAFAEL YEJE-CABRERA to an undercover INS agent on August
 15, 2001.
     Nine of the twenty-one defendants were arrested this morning in
 Massachusetts and will have initial appearances before a U.S. Magistrate Judge
 in Boston later today. EMILIO VASQUEZ, and ALEXANDER CORDERO were arrested in
 Rhode Island.  FARID YEJE was arrested in Atlanta, Georgia.  Five of the
 and JOSE ARCENTALES were arrested in New York City.  All of the defendants
 arrested outside of Massachusetts will have initial appearances in federal
 court in the states in which they were arrested and will later be removed to
 Massachusetts. RICCARDO CORONADO and FAUSTO MENA have been in custody since
 their arrest on December 8, 2001 when the shipment of cocaine was seized.
 ABISMAEL CATILLO and WILLIAM OLIVERO have not yet been arrested and are
 considered fugitives at this time.
     If convicted, all of the defendants face a minimum sentence of 10 years '
 imprisonment and a maximum of life in prison, to be followed by 5 years of
 supervised release, and a $ 4 million fine.
     The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the
 Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Massachusetts State Police, the
 Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, the Somerville,
 Rawley, Westport, Fall River, and New Bedford Police Departments, the
 Massachusetts Department of Corrections, and the Bristol County District
 Attorney's Office.  It is being prosecuted is by Assistant U.S. Attorney Heidi
 Brieger in Sullivan's Organized Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit.  The
 forfeiture part of the case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney
 Jennifer Zacks of Sullivan's Asset Forfeiture Unit.

SOURCE U.S. Attorney