Published Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Alleged gang members arrested
on suspicion of drug traffic
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
The Limón Prosecutor's Office on Tuesday ordered the arrest of nine people on suspicion of being members of a gang dedicated to international drug trafficking.
According to the report, the people were detained in their homes located in the provinces of Limón, Heredia and San José. Agents of Judicial Investigation Organization conducted 10 raids resulting in arrests.
The detainees were identified with the surnames Rodríguez-Matamoros, Hidalgo-Hurtado, Jiménez-Esquivel, Quirós-Martínez, Rodríguez-Madrigal, Flores-Zúñiga, Zárate-Sanabria, Calderón-Ruiz and Sandí-Velásquez.
In addition to the arrests, the judicial agents seized money, firearms, ammunition, boats, vehicles, GPS devices, satellite phones and car washing equipment, as part of the evidence collected against the suspects.
Before these arrests, in May 2020, a man surnamed Porras-Chaverri was arrested when he was transporting a shipment of cocaine near the Guácimo Canton in Limón Province. Detectives link this suspect with the gang.
According to the judicial agent's report, the case began in January 2020 when it was detected people were selecting containers of products to be exported to Europe.
Allegedly, these people paid the drivers to let them hide cocaine shipments among the boxes of legal products to be exported.
During the investigation, judicial agents linked these people to 1,350 kilograms of cocaine seized in one of the export terminals in Limón Province in May 2020.
In June 2020, the Dutch police seized 100 kilograms of cocaine that had entered the country hidden in a container that was sent from Costa Rica. That case was also linked to the same gang, according to the judicial agent's report.
The nine suspects were taken to the cells of the Public Ministry where they were interrogated by the judicial agents and are now waiting until a judge orders the pre-trial measures against them.
According to the Ministry of Security statistics, in 2020 there were 16.1 tons of cocaine seized. The drug was detected inside 18 containers located at the ports in Limón and Puntarenas.
What else should the authorities do in the fight against drug trafficking? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to email@example.com