Criminal Justice News

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Former Corrections Officer Sentenced for His Role in Providing Armed Security for Drug Transactions

A former Puerto Rico Department of Corrections officer was sentenced today to serve 811 months in prison for his role in providing armed security for three drug transactions.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Rosa E. Rodriguez-Velez of the District of Puerto Rico, and Special Agent in Charge Carlos Cases of the FBI’s San Juan Field Office made the announcement.

Bernis Gonzalez Miranda, 27, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Juan Perez Gimenez of the District of Puerto Rico.   He was charged in a superseding indictment unsealed on Oct. 28, 2010, along with 89 law enforcement officers in Puerto Rico and 44 other individuals, as part of the FBI undercover operation known as Guard Shack.

In April 2012, a federal jury in San Juan found Gonzalez Miranda guilty of three counts of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, three counts of attempting to possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and three counts of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug transaction.   According to the evidence presented in court, Gonzalez Miranda provided security for what he believed were illegal cocaine deals on June 15, July 2, and July 7, 2010.   In fact, the purported drug transactions were part of an undercover FBI operation.   On those days, the defendant’s actions included providing armed protection for the deals and escorting the buyer into and out of the transaction.

In return for the security he provided, Gonzalez Miranda received a cash payment of $2,000 for each transaction, and at sentencing he was ordered to forfeit the $6,000 he received.

The case was investigated by the FBI.   The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Kevin Driscoll and Monique Abrishami of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.   The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico also participated in the investigation and prosecution of this case.

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