WASHINGTON – Edy Oliverez-Jiminez, aka “Daniel,” Erasmo,” “Ulysses” and “Jesus,” 25, of Virginia Beach, Va., was sentenced today to two consecutive life terms on prison, after having been convicted by a jury for racketeering, murder, kidnapping, conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to produce and transfer false identification documents.
Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; and John P. Torres, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) field office in Washington, D.C., made the announcement after the life sentences were handed down by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson.
“Edy Oliverez-Jiminez is a calculating murderer who savagely attacked rival vendors to corner the fake document market,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “His Mexican-based cartel exported crime, pain and terror into the United States, and today’s sentence appropriately ensures that he will never rejoin society on either side of the border.”
“Edy Oliverez-Jiminez, like his co-conspirators, committed horrific acts of violence to protect the turf of his fraudulent document ring,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “Because of his crimes, he will now spend the rest of his life in prison.”
“The sentence handed down today ensures that a murderer like Edy Oliverez-Jiminez will be locked up for the rest of his life,” said Special Agent in Charge Torres. “This case has demonstrated that fraudulent document vending organizations can be not only complex and highly organized, but also ruthless in the pursuit of profit. ICE-HSI will continue its work with law enforcement partners at all levels to disrupt this type of criminal activity and prosecute the individuals responsible.”
Judge Hudson explained from the bench that he imposed the life sentences to send a message of deterrence for Oliverez-Jiminez’s involvement with a violent racketeering organization based out of Mexico. He further stated that the sentences were just in light of the defendant’s involvement in one of the most violent murders that he has observed in his career. He described the murder as “pure unadulterated torture.”
Oliverez-Jimenez was a long-term supervisor for a highly sophisticated and violent fraudulent document trafficking organization based in Mexico, with cells in 19 cities in 11 states, including three cells in Virginia. Prior to his arrest, he had served as the cell manager for the Virginia Beach and Little Rock, Ark., cells.
On Nov. 29, 2011, a federal jury convicted Oliverez-Jimenez of kidnapping and murdering a rival in Little Rock in July 2010. Posing as a potential client, a conspirator placed a call to the rival and arranged to meet him and an associate at an abandoned trailer house. When the rival entered the home, Oliverez-Jiminez and others attacked him, binding his feet, mouth and eyes with duct tape. The rival’s associate was also brought inside, bound with duct tape and beaten by the attackers. Both men were left bound on the floor, and the rival was later pronounced dead at the scene of the attack. According to the Arkansas deputy chief medical examiner, he died of asphysixia, blunt-enforced trauma and blood loss.
The jury also convicted Oliverez-Jiminez for his role in managing cells in Little Rock and Virginia Beach that produced high-quality false identification cards to illegal aliens. He supervised a number of “runners” who distributed business cards advertising the organization’s services and helped facilitate transactions with customers. The cost of fraudulent documents varied depending on the location, with counterfeit Resident Alien and Social Security cards typically selling from $150 to $200. Each cell maintained detailed sales records and divided the proceeds between the runner, the cell manager and the upper level managers in Mexico. From January 2008 through November 2010, members of the organization wired more than $1 million to Mexico.
By August 2010, Oliverez-Jiminez had relocated to Virginia Beach, where he set up another cell for the organization, which operated until his arrest in November 2010. According to wire intercepts admitted as evidence at trial, he planned another violent attack of a competitor for Sept. 18, 2010.
Throughout the conspiracy, Oliverez-Jiminez worked under Israel Cruz Millan, aka “El Muerto,” 26, of Raleigh, N.C., who led the organization in the United States and reported to leaders in Mexico. Millan pleaded guilty on Nov. 15, 2011, to racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to produce and transfer false identification documents and conspiracy to commit money laundering. On Feb. 16, 2012, U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer sentenced Cruz Millan to 300 months in prison.
Testimony at the trial of Oliverez-Jiminez showed that in June 2009, members of Cruz Millan’s organization in Richmond, Va., lured two rival sellers to a home, bound them, struck them with a baseball bat and cut them with a knife, and then placed a semi-automatic handgun in a rival’s mouth and warned him about selling false identification documents in Richmond. In November 2010, Cruz Millan and a conspirator complained that a rival seller in Nashville, Tenn., continued to operate on their turf even after they had beat him up. Cruz Millan instructed his subordinate to find an empty house to take care of the rival, cautioning him to wear gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints and to avoid using a gun which would create too much noise when fired.
Cruz Millan tightly controlled the organization’s activities, keeping in regular contact with Oliverez-Jiminez and other cell managers about inventory, bi-weekly sales reports and competition. Members who violated internal rules within the operation were subject to discipline, including shaving eyebrows, wearing weights, beatings and other violent acts. During Oliverez-Jiminez’s trial and Cruz Millan’s sentencing hearing, the United States presented evidence regarding Cruz Millan’s orchestration of the kidnapping, beating and torture of an enterprise member who was suspected of stealing from the organization. The event occurred on Oct. 29, 2010, in Raleigh, N.C. The evidence presented included telephone calls during which Cruz Millan conducted a “conference call” with other cell leaders around the United States so they could hear the torture as it took place and sending a message to other enterprise members about what would happen if they were caught stealing from the criminal organization. The testimony and intercepted calls depicted how the victim was subjected to electric shocks administered by placing his feet in a bucket of water and electrocuting him with jumper cables attached to a car battery.
Twenty-seven members of the organization were originally arrested on Nov. 18, 2010. Following the Oliverez-Jiminez trial, all of those defendants have been convicted. In addition, two other defendants have been convicted in related cases in the Eastern District of Virginia, along with others who have been charged and convicted in other districts across the country.
The investigation was centered in the Norfolk office of ICE-HSI. ICE-HSI received assistance from the Virginia State Police and Chesterfield County Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Gill and Angela Miller of the Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorney Addison Thompson of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.