The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced yesterday that 45 year old Roberto Torner, 34 year old Liza Robles, and 49 year old David Alzugaray-Lugones, were convicted on October 31, 2018, of heroin trafficking, firearms, and stolen military C-4 explosives offenses. The 12-day trial was held before United States District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion in Scranton.
Torner was convicted of one count each of conspiring to distribute heroin, distributing heroin, conspiring to be a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, possessing stolen explosives, and being a felon in possession of explosives.
Robles was convicted of one count each of conspiring to distribute heroin, distributing heroin, conspiring to have a felon possess firearms and ammunition, and one count of providing firearms and ammunition to a felon.
Alzugaray-Lugones was convicted of one count of conspiring to distribute heroin, and one count of distributing heroin.
The jury returned the guilty verdict on all counts charged in the superseding indictment after approximately three hours of deliberation.
Evidence presented at trial showed that in June 2015, Torner, Robles, and Alzugaray-Lugones worked together to sell approximately five grams of heroin (which is approximately 200 individual doses of heroin) to a confidential informant. The United States also presented evidence that over the course of nearly a decade, Robles purchased numerous handguns, assault rifles, a shotgun, a rifle, and ammunition that she made available to her fiancé, Torner, who was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition as a three-time convicted felon.
After the defendants were charged in an initial indictment for the heroin trafficking and firearms offenses, Torner was released on pretrial supervision. The evidence at trial showed that while on pretrial supervision, he planted a brick of stolen U.S. military C-4 plastic explosives on one of his rental properties, last inhabited by Alzugaray-Lugones. Law enforcement officials recovered 1.5 lbs. of stolen C-4, which resulted in additional explosives charges being filed against Torner.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Weatherly Police Department, the Luzerne County Drug Task Force, the Pennsylvania State Police, and other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. Assistant United States Attorneys Phillip Caraballo and Todd Hinkley prosecuted the case.
The combined maximum penalty under federal law for Torner is up to life imprisonment, for Robles up to 20 years of imprisonment, and for Alzugaray up to 20 years of imprisonment. There is also a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.
Torner, Robles, and Alzugaray-Lugones are also connected to a 2016 arson, a missing person, and bone fragments found on a property connected to them. Read more: