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They occupy 19 alligators, rifles, ammunition and drugs in two abandoned houses in Manatí

A total of 19 alligators of different sizes, as well as multiple rifles, drugs, ammunition, chargers and two bulletproof vests were seized yesterday, Thursday, in two abandoned residences in the Cerro Gandía neighborhood of Manatí.

The discovery occurred while agents of the Homicide Division of the Criminal Investigation Corps (CIC) of Vega Baja, together with personnel from the Arecibo Criminal Intelligence and Arrests Divisionthey carried out a search operation to find the whereabouts of the Josbriel Rivera Maldonado.

The 28-year-old who has been missing since August 20, when he was last seen at a gas station in Vega Baja.

The Colonel Roberto Rivera Mirandacommissioner of the Auxiliary Superintendence of Criminal Investigations (SAIC), confirmed to The new day that the aforementioned personnel arrived in the area of ​​Cerro Gandía as part of a broader investigation and in search of corroborating certain confidences received. Rivera Miranda indicated that the area in which the operation was carried out consists of several abandoned residences, and that crimes have been previously reported there.

“When they arrived at one of the residences, they found four rifles with normal, extended and even double drum chargers, a large amount of ammunition and drugs. During that search they received more information that in the abandoned house that was right in front of the one they had entered, on the second floor, there was a sealed room with several alligators inside.”, highlighted Rivera Miranda by telephone.

The SAIC commissioner said that, after searching the second residence, the agents came across the 19 alligators of various sizes, from small to ones that are six feet or more in length.

Personnel from the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) removed alligators from the site.

“Historically, this area of ​​​​abandoned residences is hot and they have used the houses to hide weapons and drugs, in addition to the fact that there have also been shootings and people have died from acts of violence,” the officer added.

Rivera Miranda indicated that the agents were unable to arrest people in connection with the findings because those present in the area fled when they saw the arrival of the patrols. “These people know every alley and place in the area and they missed us. They call this place the ‘Palma de la Mano’, and that is almost like a labyrinth”, emphasized Rivera Miranda.

“We are going to continue with the investigation and the intelligence personnel are still in the place because they are corroborating other confidences that they received,” he said.

Regarding the discovery of alligators, historically, criminal organizations have used alligators and/or crocodiles to dispose of the bodies of victims of violent crimes, just like the federal prosecutor’s office alleged when announcing the partial dismantling, in October 2020, of the criminal organization Las FARC, whose elements controlled the movement of drugs in different areas and residential areas of San Juan.

The commissioner of the Police Bureau, Colonel Antonio López Figueroa (left), observes one of the seized rifles.
The commissioner of the Police Bureau, Colonel Antonio López Figueroa (left), observes one of the seized rifles. (Supplied)

When asked if they suspect that the alligators were used to dispose of the bodies of the victims, Rivera Miranda replied that “at this time we cannot rule anything out. Even here, a while back, a little-known street artist posted a music video of this place, but at the time, we couldn’t appreciate the specific house. Upon arrival, we saw that it was in this house (where they found the alligators) that they recorded the video, where hooded individuals with long weapons also appeared and the alligators in the back.”

Finally, Rivera Miranda said that the rifles will be delivered to the Institute of Forensic Sciences (ICF) to carry out ballistics tests to verify if they were used to commit murder

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