30 Arrested for drug trafficking in western Puerto Rico

San Juan, May 5 (EFE).- At least 30 people were arrested Monday for being part of a dangerous gang that dealt drugs in several public housing projects in western Puerto Rico.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration special agent Waldo Santiago gave information to Efe about the operation in which the Puerto Rican police also participated.

The arrested people are accused of possession of heroin, cocaine, crack and marijuana with the intent to sell. The gang has been operating since 2010 in the Rafael Hernandez, Manuel Hernandez-Rosa and El Carmen public housing projects.

The arrests follow last week's round-up of almost 200 people around the island for different crimes.

The new head of the Puerto Rico Police Department, Jose Caldero, said last week in an interview with Efe that 18 percent of the drugs that pass through the Caribbean on their way to the mainland United States remain on the island.

Seventy percent of serious crime in Puerto Rico is drug-related, according to Caldero.

It is calculated that about 175,000 people on the island make their livings in some way linked with drug trafficking and that there are some 1,600 drug sales points in Puerto Rico.