Local February 9, 2016 | 8:36 am

Dominican military purge: 32 senior officers bounced out of service

Dominican Republic.- Two Dominican Air Force colonels werefired but not charged in connection with a drug trafficking ring operating betweenColombia, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, where 32 senior officers havebeen bounced out of the military during the last three months.

Col. Ruben Dario Jimenez Rivera and Lt. Col. Freddy PérezQuiñones were assigned to the National Drug Control Agency (DNCD) where they wereallegedly involved in drug trafficking.

After a military investigation the Defense Ministry placed JimenezRivera on forced retirement and fired Pérez Quiñones without pay.

The probe determined that Pérez Quiñones and Air Forcelieutenant Jose Ernesto Rosario Valdez coordinated the contacts at airports forincoming and departing aircraft loaded with drugs.

Quoted by acento.com.do, the investigative report said the ringincluded military, contracted pilots and rented aircraft to transport majorhauls of cocaine from South America to Honduras and the Dominican Republic.

The investigation found that Pérez Quiñones held phoneconversations with the Dominicans and alleged drug traffickers Gabriel AntonioHernandez Peña (Camaro), Joaquín Díaz Núñez (Suzuki), Rafael Santos Peralta (Mechita),Ramon Antonio Sánchez Guzmán (El Gallo) as well as with Colombian AlejandroRomero, Cristofer Moises Romero and Erwin Montesino Peña, all accused by theauthorities in connection to the criminal organization.

The probe found that Rivera Jimenez, in addition to being linkedto Pérez Quiñones, helped two drug traffickers smuggle a suitcase full ofcocaine into a container of XL Airways France airlines, at Punta Cana InternationalAirport.

With the expulsion of the colonels a total of 32 seniorofficers have been bounced out of the military in the last three months foralleged links to drug trafficking and money laundering organizations.

However, none of the officers identified and fired havebeen prosecuted by military justice.

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