Puerto Rican drug lord 'Gordo' sentenced to 18 years for trafficking cocaine into DC

A Puerto Rican man who goes by "Gordo" received an 18-year prison sentence for managing a drug trafficking organization responsible for smuggling large quantities of cocaine to the Washington D.C. metro area.

The sentencing, announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, comes after 40-year-old Rey Rivera Ruiz pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.

Rivera Ruiz admitted to overseeing the distribution of between 50 and 150 kilograms of cocaine and supervising at least five co-conspirators. The operation involved shipping multiple kilograms of cocaine monthly from post offices in San Juan, Puerto Rico to addresses in the D.C. area using the U.S. Postal Service.


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The investigation revealed that the drug trafficking organization shipped at least 65 parcels, each containing up to two kilograms of cocaine, to the D.C. area. Once received, local dealers would break down the cocaine bricks and distribute them.

Additionally, members of the organization traveled from San Juan to the D.C. area to collect drug proceeds, which were then transported back to Rivera Ruiz and others using commercial airlines.

Law enforcement seized a kilogram of cocaine from a parcel addressed to Rivera Ruiz during a search of his home in April 2021. A total of 10 individuals have been convicted for their roles in the drug trafficking conspiracy.

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In a related case, co-conspirator Jann Jousten Aponte-Rivera was found guilty of participating in the drug-related murder of Shantay Myisha Butler and sentenced to 50 years in prison. The murder occurred in October 2020 when Aponte-Rivera and another co-conspirator opened fire on a vehicle driven by a D.C.-area drug dealer owed money by the organization.

Rivera Ruiz, Aponte-Rivera, and another co-conspirator were arrested in April 2021.