Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Skip to main content
Press Release
DOJ us marshals banner

U.S. Marshals Lead Violent Crime Reduction Operation in Puerto Rico

For immediate release

N. Martinez-Carrion

District of Puerto Rico
(939) 475-6917

San Juan, PR - The U.S. Marshals Florida/Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force (FCRFTF) and Puerto Rico Violent Offender Task Force (PRVOTF) partnered with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to investigate, locate and apprehend organized crime/gang members wanted for violent crimes within the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and surrounding areas during an operation conducted June 10-21.

Operation Washout/Thunderstorm – Puerto Rico was a violent crime reduction initiative to identify and target individuals with active violent offense felony arrest warrants, including homicide, robbery, sex offenses, felonious assault, felonious narcotics, and firearms violations, as well as collect tangible criminal intelligence in a systematic effort to reduce violent crime.

Participating agencies in the Operation Washout/Thunderstorm-Puerto Rico enforcement operation include the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), the Puerto Rico Department of Justice Office, Puerto Rico Special Investigations Bureau (NIE) and the Puerto Rico Police Bureau (PRPB).

A firearms trafficking organization operating within the regions of San Juan, Rio Grande, and Bayamon, Puerto Rico, is alleged to have been actively involved in the illegal trade of long arms, handguns, and ammunition. The investigation, initiated in September 2022, culminated in a series of undercover operations where NIE agents successfully made purchases from the organization.

On June 20 the NIE, PRVOTF, FCRFTF, USMS Special Operations Group, USMS Technical Operations Group and the Puerto Rico Police Bureau executed a takedown of the organization, resulting in the arrests of several members, all of whom were wanted for selling and buying illegal firearms without a license:

  • Christian Torres-Hernandez, identified as the arms trafficking organization’s main leader, arrested June 20 in San Juan; 
  • Juan Carlos Rivera-Ortiz, arrested June 20 in Bayamon;  
  • Oscar Morales-Casanova, arrested June 20 in Rio Grande. During the arrest, investigators seized a rifle and three pistols.
  • Vanessa Salaman-Iglesias, arrested June 20 in Rio Grande; 
  • Noriel Alvarado-Mojica, arrested June 21 in Carolina;
  • Daniel Salaman-Agosto, arrested June 20 in Rio Grande.

Members of the FCRFTF and PRVOTF assisted the NIE with identifying these targets prior to the takedown, which was instrumental for the NIE to indict them at the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Department of Justice.

Other significant arrests during Operation Washout/Thunderstorm-Puerto Rico include:

  • Bernabe Barrazo, arrested June 17 in Ponce. Barrazo was wanted on an Oceola County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office state warrant for sex assault.
  • Danny Anthony Collado, wanted since 1991 on a Seminole County (Florida) Sheriff's Office state warrant for attempted murder and kidnaping. Collado was located June 21 with the assistance of the Puerto Rico Department of Corrections at the Bayamon 501 Correctional Facility.  Collado had served his minimum sentence requirement of 25 years for a murder he committed in Puerto Rico which qualified him to be released under parole. If not for this warrant out of Seminole County, Florida, he could have been released.
  • Luis Galay-Sierra, one of Puerto Rico’s Most Wanted, wanted for homicide, attempted murder and weapons violations. Galay-Sierra was arrested June 18 in Durado. Galay-Sierra is accused of the May 26 murder of Carlos Javier Colón Morales in front of a business while a caravan of the mayor of Dorado, Carlos López, passed by in the Maguayo neighborhood. Two older adults and a 13-year-old girl were also injured in the shooting. During the arrest investigators seized a 9 mm handgun with 15 rounds of ammunition.
  • Cristobal Figueroa-Alvarez, arrested June 21 in Tampa, Florida.  Figueroa-Alvarez was wanted by the Puerto Rico Police Bureau for weapons violations.

The FCRFTF has experience in conducting complex, long- and short-term investigations utilizing all resources made available through partnerships with multiple law enforcement agencies. The task force’s longstanding success in the apprehension and prosecution of violent organized crime/gang members by FCRFTF personnel further enforces the positive relationship with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Puerto Rico Department of Justice Office commitment to combat organized crime gang related violence in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

The mission of the FCRFTF is to locate and apprehend fugitives, with priority given to fugitives wanted for violent crime.  Founded July 1, 2008, the task force is supported by eight federal and 101 state and local agencies and operates within the southern, northern and middle districts of Florida, as well as the District of the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at


America’s First Federal Law Enforcement Agency