I often think about writing fan letters, but I can’t remember actually sending any. I compose them in my head, may even write them down…but then I’m over it. This time I’m going to write my fan letter although my hero may never see it. This is a shout out to Joseph Gonzalez, special agent in charge of the San Juan field office of the FBI.
Since August of 2021 Mr. Gonzalez has been cleaning up Puerto Rico. He isn’t new to the island. In 2006 Gonzalez investigated organized crime, international drug trafficking, money laundering, and violent gangs. in 2012 he was responsible for dismantling networks of corrupt law enforcement officers throughout Puerto Rico. He left the island and held various jobs in the FBI returning in August 2021 after acting as FBI’s legal attaché In Mexico City.
He warned us that he’s not messing around and in the past year I’ve seen more arrests on the island than I have in the 38 years I’ve lived here.
Si nosotros no lo hacemos,nadie lo va a hacer.
If we don't do it, no one will [do it].
- Six mayors arrested by the FBI in just six months and more are under investigation. The six are accused of taking money for government contracts and involve the same two trash and asphalt companies.
- Federal authorities arrested seven people including a union leader and various dock workers accused in a $1.2 million extortion scheme that targeted shipping companies. The suspects face charges including conspiracy to violate the RICO Act, commit extortion and money laundering.
- 37 Members of the PV Familia, gang members from the municipality of San Juan charged with conspiracy, possession and distribution of controlled substances, and firearms violations, often closing access to housing to establish their drug “puntos”.
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) indicted three in relation to the kidnapping of a teenager and two other people, including the owner of the restaurant El Hipopótamo in Río Piedras. Arrested for carjacking resulting in a death, kidnapping resulting in a death, unloading a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, causing the death of a person through the use of a firearm.
- Former governor Wanda Vázquez was arrested by the F.B.I. accused of accepting bribes from a campaign donor while in office and naming a regulatory official of his choosing in exchange for financing her campaign
In a recent column in El Nuevo Dia, Mayra Montero said,
“Por primera vez creo que está surtiendo efecto la advertencia de Joseph González, quien hace alrededor de un año fue llamado a dirigir la oficina del FBI en Puerto Rico. En su momento dijo: “El que se monta en la guagua primero, tiene el mejor asiento.”
Translated to: For the first time, I believe that the warning of Joseph González, who was called to head the FBI office in Puerto Rico a year ago, is having an effect. At the time he said: “The one who gets on the bus first has the best seat.”
Gonzalez ‘s task force to deal with governmental corruption is a first for the island. No se va a dejar pasar ni una, caiga quien caiga….which loosely means that no one will get a free pass, whoever falls, will fall”. Referring to his bus metaphor, he said that those who committed or allowed acts of corruption should come to him before they get found out, so they could get the best seats on the bus.
Bahia Jobos Reserve in Salinas In a May 29, 2022 article Victor Rodriguez Velazquez and Omaya SosaPascual of the Centro de Periodismo Investigativo wrote of the problem “… the decades old crime of an illegal occupation and construction, deforestation of mangroves, the filling of wetlands and the sanitary discharges to the sea in an area of high ecological value of the terrestrial maritime zone…”’ The FBI is now investigating what’s happening in the 2800 acre reserve. It’s important because it involves multifaceted branches of Puerto Rico and the Federal government. Reported in the San juan Star on May 13, 2022 Ramirez Carbó, the deputy chief of the US attorney’s office for the district of Puerto Rico said, “It” cannot be built,” he said. “And yet it was built. We have received some complaints and notifications to act and investigate and we are acting and investigating.” There are electrical and water hook ups and trailers and other housing, none of which belong in the reserve. Who’s to blame? Lots of people and agencies.
Keep up the good work Mr. Gonzalez. Someday maybe Puerto Rico will be able to weed out corruption themselves. In the meantime it seems that Joseph Gonzalez at the FBI is the man to do it. Hopefully it’ll help Puerto Rico echa pa’lante!