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Juan David Lema-Ortega

Attempted Murder, Escape & International Drug Trafficking

Data From: FBI, US Customs & Royal Virgin Islands Police Force

(AMW: May 18, 2002)

Additional Quirks: 

Colombian National
Speaks Spanish fluently, likely speaks some English
Believed member of the Island Boys drug trafficking organization, led by James Springette

Cops in the British Virgin Islands are looking for Juan David Lema-Ortega for many crimes, including the attempted Murder of a police officer, and escape from a Tortola prison.  FBI and United States Customs agents are seeking Ortega on international drug trafficking charges.

Cops say that Ortega and Hector Zapata are associated with the drug trafficking group, the Island Boys, and its leader James Springette.  Springette (also profiled) and the Island Boys are responsible for what cops say is the importation of "cartel-level multi-thousand kilogram quantities of cocaine from Colombia."  Police say that the cocaine is eventually trafficked into the United States.

Police say that the Island Boys (and Springette) may have been involved in the following activities: two murders, including one committed in retaliation against a presumed informant, a money laundering operation that involved in excess of $100 million, and countless drug trafficking charges.  They also believe Ortega, Zapata and Springette were involved in a 1996 shoot-out with the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.  In that incident, inspectors say that one cop was shot.

Zapata and Ortega were briefly jailed in 1998 in Tortola.  Cops say that Ortega and Zapata escaped after two gunmen ambushed their prison transport vehicle while it was on its way to a court hearing.  Police say Ortega and Zapata were freed and fled the island via boat.

Springette and the Island Boys have operated in the United States, the US and British Virgin Islands, additional Caribbean Islands, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, England, France and elsewhere.  Cops say they are responsible for (on average) the importation of 1,000 kilos of cocaine into the US and the Virgin Islands every two weeks.  It is believed that the Island Boys have imported in excess of 40,000 kilos of cocaine.

Law Enforcement Agencies actively seeking Springette's recovery:  August, GA FBI (he is on the Top Ten), Savannah, GA U.S. Customs Service (he is on their Top Fifteen); U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; the U.S. Internal Revenue Service; U.S. Attorneys Office; St. Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands Agencies; Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (British Virgin Islands); Tortola, BVI agencies; and various local agencies.