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Alleged drug dealer arrested in Puerto Rico

The Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico- An alleged drug dealer accused of participating in a narcotics ring that shipped Colombian cocaine and heroin to Puerto Rico has been arrested, authorities said Wednesday.

Carlos Vazquez Pena, 30, was seized Tuesday night in the southern Puerto Rico town of Coamo following a high-speed chase by police and federal agents, said Ivan Ortiz, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Vazquez, who was accused of participating in the August 2002 slaying of a federal informant found tortured and burned in the U.S. Caribbean territory, "imposed himself as the owner of several drug distribution points through extreme violence and ruthlessness," Ortiz said in a statement.

He was one of 21 people indicted by a U.S. grand jury in 2003 for having a role in a drug ring that imported more than one ton of cocaine and 22 pounds (10 kilograms) of heroin from Colombia to Puerto Rico. The drugs were destined for New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico, Ortiz said.

Vazquez was being held at a federal prison outside San Juan while he awaits trial on charges of money laundering, drug trafficking and conspiracy to distribute narcotics.

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