Two Individuals Charged With Carjacking And Using A Firearm During A Violent Crime Which Resulted In The Death Of Two Transgender Women
San Juan, PR - On May 1, 2020, Juan Carlos Pagán Bonilla (Pagán), 21, and Sean Díaz de León (Díaz), 19, were indicted in a complaint in the Federal Court of the District of Puerto Rico. for using and carrying a firearm during and in connection with a crime of violence, in connection with the deaths of two transgender women, announced Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband, the United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico W. Stephen Muldrow and the Director of the FBI in Puerto Rico Rafael Riviere. This case is being investigated by the Puerto Rico Police ("POPR") and the FBI. Pagán and Díaz are in federal custody.
The complaint alleges that on April 22, 2020, the Puerto Rico Police was informed of a burning vehicle in Humacao, Puerto Rico. When POPR officers responded to the area, they found two burned bodies inside the vehicle. On April 22, 2020, the relatives of the people identified in the complaint as SAVR ("Victim 1") and LPS ("Victim 2") reported that they disappeared and mentioned a Snapchat video on social networks that shows both victims socializing with two subjects the night before.
According to the investigation and intelligence received by POPR, the two men seen in the Snapchat video with the two victims are Díaz and Pagán. On April 28, 2020, POPR detained Pagán at his residence. According to the information obtained, the defendants decided to murder the two women after having shared with them because they felt cheated when they learned that they were both transgender.
"Hate crimes are especially reprehensible because of the effects they have on victims, their families, communities that continually suffer discrimination based on their gender or sexual orientation, and our people in general," said W. Stephen Muldrow , Federal Prosecutor for the District of Puerto Rico. "This is why the Federal Prosecutor's Office agrees to use all the tools at its disposal to combat crimes motivated by this type of intolerance."
“I want to take the opportunity to send a message to members of the LBGTTQ community. We have heard your claims and the FBI understands your distress. We are with you and we fight with you, because Puerto Rico belongs to everyone, ”said the director of the FBI in Puerto Rico, Rafael Riviere. "I also want to thank the Puerto Rico Police officers for their great work. Interagency cooperation is key in these cases and we are working together to make Puerto Rico a safe place for everyone. ”
This investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information can call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5342).
The Federal Prosecutor's Office requested the immediate arrest of the accused. Assistant United States Attorney José A. Contreras of the District of Puerto Rico, Senior Prosecutor Rose Gibson, and Special Prosecutor of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice Laura Gilson are in charge of the investigation of the case. Each of the charges is eligible for the death penalty or even life in prison. The charges contained in the complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in court.