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Brian Luke Community Blogger, WGRZ-TV

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Return of Fugitive Oscar Martinez-Hernandez from Venezuela

Oscar Martinez-Hernandez is escorted by federal agents after being returned to the United States from Venezuela.L to R: DEA Acting SAC Pedro Janer, FBI SAC Joseph Campbell and USM Orlando Rivera.  Acting SAC Janer addresses the media during a press conference following the return of Martinez-Herandez from Venezuela.
Oscar Martinez-Hernandez is escorted by federal agents after being returned to the United States from Venezuela.
L to R: DEA A cting SAC Pedro Janer, FBI SAC Joseph Campbell and USM Orlando Rivera.  A cting SAC Janer addresses the media during a press conference following the return of Martinez-Herandez from Venezuela.
JAN 24 – SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Today, Oscar Martínez-Hernández, also known as “Cali”, age 39, arrived in Puerto Rico after being expelled from Venezuela. On January 4, 2012, Martínez-Hernández was arrested by Venezuelan law enforcement authorities in the city of Maracaibo, Venezuela. Martínez-Hernández is being extradited based on an INTERPOL Red Notice which was issued in an attempt to locate him.
Martínez-Hernández has been a fugitive for the past 12 years when he fled awaiting a jury verdict on state murder and weapons charges. On July 15, 1999, he was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Martínez-Hernández is one of the Police of Puerto Rico’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives.
In addition, Martínez-Hernández is the subject of four separate set of federal charges issued by a Federal Grand Jury (FGJ) from the District of Puerto Rico. These charges are as follows:
• In March 1994, a FGJ charged Martínez-Hernández with possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine.
• In November 1999, a FGJ charged Martínez-Hernández with possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
• In May 2001, a FGJ charged Martínez-Hernández with allegedly importing approximately 780 kilograms of cocaine from South America to the United States.
• In June 2011, a FGJ charged Martínez-Hernández for allegedly being the leader and supplier, as well as the individual who oversaw the transportation of multi-kilogram quantities of narcotics.
These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys George A. Massucco, Carmen Marquez, Jenifer Y. Hernández and Myriam Y. Fernández.
The successful capture of this fugitive was primarily based upon a collaborative effort by the DEA, FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, the Diplomatic Security Service and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Service (ICE).
“The DEA in conjunction with FBI, ICE and the Puerto Rico Police Department joined forces and investigative resources, and today are glad to announce the capture of one of the most wanted fugitives and notorious drug traffickers in the Caribbean. Oscar Martinez-Hernandez was extradited from Venezuela today. Martinez-Hernandez has been one of Puerto Rico’s most wanted fugitives for the past eleven years, and because of his drug distribution activities, has caused violence, bloodshed and terror in the streets of Puerto Rico. Martinez-Hernandez was most recently indicted in the 2011 DEA led investigation at La Perla. Martinez-Hernandez was accused of participating in a Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and prescription drugs. This investigation is a clear example of what law enforcement agencies can achieve when working together, and sends a clear message to all fugitives that no matter how long it takes, we will not rest until they are brought to the justice system,” stated Pedro J. Janer, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Caribbean Division.
“Puerto Rico’s Police Department continues to work hand in hand with all local, state and federal security agencies, in order to ensure and provide our communities with greater public safety. The arrest of such a criminal is proof of the joint efforts between law enforcement agencies in Puerto Rico, the United States and countries in the fight against drug and weapons trafficking. Without a doubt we are working towards the right direction in order to win back our communities from those who think that can contaminate our future generations. We are defending the security of the decent and brave citizens who reside in this Island and who most certainly deserve to live in peace,” stated the Superintendent of the Police of Puerto Rico Emilio Díaz Colón.
“The arms of justice are long and world-wide; thanks to our international law enforcement partners. No matter how much time and effort it takes, these individuals who try to flee will eventually be apprehended and face justice for their crimes,” said Joseph S. Campbell, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI-San Juan Field Office.
“The arrest of Oscar Martínez-Hernández demonstrates that no matter how many connections or resources a fugitive may have to escape prosecution, it is only a matter of time before he is found and brought to justice. This was an excellent example of international law enforcement cooperation,” said Orlando Rivera, U.S. Marshal for the District of Puerto Rico.
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