SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Yesterday, after a two day trial, a jury found Luciano Mendoza-Garcia guilty of drug trafficking charges, announced United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. United States District Court Chief Judge Aida Delgado presided over the trial.
On October 13, 2016, the defendant Luciano Mendoza-Garcia and Jorge Balbuena-Peguero were arrested in the high seas during a high speed maritime interdiction were 56 kilograms of cocaine were recovered. On October 19, 2016 a federal grand jury indicted Mendoza-Garcia and Balbuena-Peguero charging them with conspiracy to import controlled substances, conspiracy to possess a controlled substance on board a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and possession of a controlled substance on board a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, aiding and abetting each other.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Montes and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Smith were in charge of the prosecution of the case. The defendant faces a minimum mandatory term of imprisonment of 10 years.