On Friday morning, agents from the Puntarenas Judicial Investigation Agency, the Capital Legitimization office of the Department of Criminal Investigations (DICR) of the San José OIJ, in collaboration with investigators from the Money Laundering Section of the Criminal Investigations Department (DICR) of the OIJ of San José, dismantled a criminal organization dedicated to International Drug Trafficking.
This joint operation comprised ten raids across different parts of the country, resulting in the arrest of three men: Juarez Rodriguez (leader), Montoya Fernandez, and Membreño Castillo. Notably, these men are officers of the National Coast Guard Service.
According to Randall Zúñiga, the acting director of the judicial police, the organization allegedly had the support of three officers from the National Coast Guard Service (SNG) for their illicit operations.
“These officers are suspected of facilitating logistics for the criminal group to execute their illicit activities,” Zúñiga explained.
He also confirmed the primary objective of this operation: to arrest eight individuals believed to be involved in a criminal organization focused on International Drug Trafficking.
The investigation that started in January 2021 produced compelling evidence of the group’s engagement in drug trafficking, particularly marijuana and cocaine, primarily using maritime routes.
“Among the detainees are four officials from the National Coast Guard Service. These individuals are suspected to be part of the criminal organization, allegedly using their police experience and positions to support the gang,” detailed the OIJ.
Raids were executed in towns such as El Roble, Montes de Oro, Quepos, Nicoya, and Carrillo de Guanacaste. The Coast Guard offices of Caldera, Quebrada Honda, Abangares, and Flamingo were also part of the operation.
Throughout the investigative process, these operations led to significant drug seizures. On January 6, 2021, authorities confiscated 250 kilograms of cocaine, arresting six individuals. Later, on June 24, 2022, 450 kilograms of cocaine and 300 kilograms of marijuana were seized, resulting in the arrest of four more individuals.
This operation’s success was thanks to collaboration between various entities, including the Police Intelligence Unit of the OIJ, the National Intelligence and Security Directorate (DIS), and the United States’ Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).