'Cartepillar', the seal on cocaine packages that helped break up a drug gang in which a policeman was a part

‘Cartepillar’, the seal on cocaine packages that helped break up a drug gang in which a policeman was a part

July 14, 2023, 9:16 AM

July 14, 2023, 9:16 AM

During a marathon precautionary hearing of more than seven hours, the precautionary judge Marianela Salazar ordered the preventive detention, in the Palmasola prison and for 120 days, of four men accused of belonging to a gang of cocaine traffickers. This group includes a uniformed man who was assigned to the Police Departmental Command.

The prosecutor’s commission, led by Julio César Porras, accused Lucio Pérez Romero, Rolando Maida Aguilar, Joel Egüez Molina and the police officer Alex Apaico Mejía for the crime of trafficking in controlled substances, considering the existence of reliable evidence against them of having participated in that illegal activity.

The Prosecutor’s Office and agents of the Special Force to Fight Drug Trafficking (Felcn) carried out at least seven raids on buildings in different parts of our capital. They also proceeded to arrest of the four defendants and the hijacking of at least 10 vehiclesmoney in national currency and in dollars, jewelry, in addition to the seizure of marijuana.

In front of the judge, the prosecutors argued that one of the most expensive buildings intervened with spacious rooms and amenities, was the one on the main avenue of Los Lotes. Lucio Pérez Romero and Rolando Maida Aguilar were arrested there, while Joel Egüez Molina and police officer Alex Apaico Mejía were captured in raids on other properties.

The reports indicate that the operation was developed by virtue of an action carried out on May 11, in the southern area of ​​our capital. In this operation, more than 50 kilos of cocaine were seized in a car that worked as a taxi.

On that occasion, three people were arrested and in the investigations it was detected that high purity cocaine was stamped ‘cartepillar’.

In turn, in the simultaneous raids of this last operation, the ‘caterpillar’ seal was also found in one of the seized properties, for which the Prosecutor’s Office and the Felcn found a direct relationship.

Likewise, during the latest investigations, the Prosecutor’s Office stated that the car that worked as a taxi, inside which they discovered 50 kilos of cocaine, is owned by police officer Alex Apaico Mejía.

In his statements that the uniformed man assured that his car gave him work as a taxi and that unfortunately the taxi driver, with his partner, were found with the drugs. However, the Prosecutor’s Office argued that the policeman was summoned and never showed up.

A big shot with a ton

At a press conference, the Minister of Government, Eduardo del Castillo, reported that the investigations -carried out for a year by Felcn intelligence groups- led to the capture of four people, including police sergeant Alex Apaico Mejia and three other citizens.

He assured that one of them, identified as Lucio Pérez Romero, had been arrested in the 2009 administration, when more than a ton of cocaine from Peru was seized in two buildings in the capital of Santa Cruz. However, he stated that Pérez Romero was released by the courts.

According to the State authority, Pérez Romero, after being favored by the courts, continued to dedicate himself to the trafficking of controlled substances. Felcn reactivated the investigations and discovered that the route they used for drug trafficking was along the Peruvian border to Puerto Quijarro, on the border with Brazil.

Del Castillo stated that in one of the vehicles that was tracked down, the policeman was observed loading fuel.

He also said that the investigations established that Lucio Pérez Romero is one of the leaders of the gang, considered a big shot who operated with impunity along with his accomplices.

In front of the judge, in his material defense, Lucio Pérez Romero said that he has nothing to do with drug trafficking activities and that he is dedicated to livestock. The same version was given before Judge Marianela Salazar by her brother-in-law Rolando Maida Aguilar.

Joel Egüez Molina also spoke and claimed to be innocent and that he does not know the other people. He said that he was only arrested because they found in his possession packets of marijuana.

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