The day after more than half a million Puerto Rican protesters demanded the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rosselló, the island's Justice Department confirmed to NBC News that it had issued search warrants to seize several subscribers' cell phones private messaging chats with the governor.
The content of the chat has sparked unprecedented mass protests, prompting Rosselló's fall.
The arrest warrants come a week after only a handful of members in the chat have voluntarily surrendered their cell phones to the judiciary officials as part of an investigation into possible conflicts of interest and law violations due to the leaked news.
Telemundo Puerto Rico first reported Tuesday that the authorities had confiscated the phones of Luis Rivera Marín, Rosselló's Secretary of State; Christian Sobrino, who held a number of economic posts; Raúl Maldonado, former CFO; one-time communications assistants Carlos Bermúdez and Rafael Cerame; Edwin Miranda, communications consultant; Secretary of Public Affairs Anthony Maceira; and Elías Sánchez, lobbyist and former campaign director of Rosselló.
Mariana Cobián, spokeswoman for the Department of Justice, could only confirm to NBC News that arrest warrants took place, but stated that they could not provide further details due to an ongoing investigation.
The chats had 12 members, including Rosselló, who was one of the chat's administrators.
There were reports of no arrest warrants being issued against Rosselló's telephone, which according to several local reports last week failed to meet the requirements of the Department of Justice.
Alfonso Orona, former Chief Legal Officer of Rosselló; Ramón Rosario, former Secretary of Public Affairs; and Interior Minister and Chief of Staff Ricardo Llerandi followed the instructions of the Ministry of Justice last week.
Justice officials opened the investigation shortly after the Island's Investigative Journalism Center published 889 pages of chats that featured officials, lobbyists and journalists discussing issues of public policy and party politics.
Days later, Justice Minister Wanda Vázquez announced plans to refuse to participate in the investigation as she was the subject of talks in the leaked chats.
The Puerto Rican population took to the streets to demand Rosselló's resignation on Monday. The governor issued a statement on Tuesday saying, "People are talking, and I have to listen." focus on " the actions we perform as part of government work ."  Hours later, Llerandi submitted his resignation with effect from July 31 to "allow an orderly transition," he said in a letter addressed to Rosselló.
Both Sobrino and Rivera Marín resigned, and they also filed in the wake of the controversial chats that took effect on the same day.
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