Last Friday, Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Matthew J. Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; announced the arrest of two Dominican nationals for allegedly trafficking cocaine to the United States. Juan Luis Perez Garcia, 44, a Dominican national residing in Bronx, N.Y., and Juan Artiles Taveras, 43, of Lakewood, N.J., were arrested in Attleboro, Mass., after an investigation of a narcotics organization operating in the Dominican Republic.

According to court records a cooperating witness, who worked at the airport in Boston, helped in the investigation.

A meeting was set up in the Dominican Republic in June 2015, after it was learned that a member of the Dominican Republic narcotics organization was planning to put drugs on a JetBlue flight bound for the United States.

In need of a helping hand

The member stated that he was in need of assistance in Boston to get the drugs off the plane, so plans were set up with the cooperating witness to unload the drugs without having them discovered by airport officials. According to court documents, the next meeting was set up in July 2015 with another member of the organization to once again smuggle drugs into the United States from the Dominican Republic via a JetBlue flight.

Investigation leads to arrest

Court records showed that as the investigation continued, it is alleged that Pérez García contacted the cooperating witness and arranged for cocaine to be delivered to the cooperating witness in Boston from the Dominican Republic. It is also alleged that on June 2, 2017, plans were made for a suitcase containing cocaine to arrive from the Dominican Republic via a JetBlue flight into Boston.

Unannounced to the members of the narcotic organization, federal agents intercepted the suitcase when it arrived in Boston. They conducted a field test on the suitcase contents and verify that it was cocaine with a weight of about seven kilos. Later that evening, the cooperating witness and undercover officers met with Juan Luis Perez Garcia and Juan Artiles Taveras in a parking lot in Attleboro, Mass.

to exchange money for the drugs. At which time both men were placed under arrest. If found guilty of intent to distribute cocaine both men could face a mandatory maximum sentence of 10 years or life in prison, with a five-year supervision upon release and a fine of $10 million.