Six indicted for murder of banker Spagnoletti
SAN JUAN – On Dec. 6, a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned a third superseding indictment against six defendants charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.
Four of these individuals, Luis Carmona-Bernacet, a.k.a. “Canito Cumbre”; Yadiel Serrano-Canales, a.k.a. “Motombo”; Rolando Rivera-Solis; and Alex Burgos-Amaro, a.k.a. “Yogui”, were charged with the use of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime resulting in the murder of Maurice Spagnoletti in 2011.
In the murder of Spagnoletti, who worked for Doral Bank, the grand jury charged defendants Carmona-Bernacet, Serrano-Canales, Rivera-Solis and Burgos-Amaro with “aiding and abetting each other, with counseling, commanding, inducing and procuring each other to carry a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, and in the course of that crime, causing the death” of Spagnoletti, a Justice Department release reads.
As part of the drug trafficking conspiracy, the superseding indictment alleges that the defendants established drug distribution points among several housing facilities owned by a public housing authority and other areas.
The Associated Press reports that Rodríguez-Vélez said Rivera-Solis “owned a cleaning company that had received millions of dollars under a maintenance contract with the bank that Spagnoletti had canceled as part of his investigation because he found the amount ‘outlandish,'” adding that the company “was being used for a money-laundering vehicle.”
The leaders and their coconspirators would conduct “Santería” religious ceremonies “or cults before engaging in significant criminal activities and/or other violent incidents to protect the leaders, the organization, and their drug trafficking activities,” Justice added.
“Federal, state and local law enforcement agents worked together with our prosecutors to target the leaders and key members of this violent gang, who are responsible for at least three murders, one of which was the murder of Maurice Spagnoletti,” Rodríguez-Vélez said.
If convicted, the defendants face a minimum sentence of 15 years; from 10 years up to life in prison for the drug conspiracy charge, and from five years up to life in prison for the firearm charges. For the murder of Spagnoletti, the defendants could face the death penalty or imprisonment for any term of years or for life.