Bolivian Police Officer Convicted on Extortion Charges
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce yesterday’s conviction of Mario Fabricio Ormachea Aliaga, 43, of La Paz, Bolivia. After a three-day jury trial in Ft. Lauderdale before U.S. District Judge Jose A. Gonzalez, Jr., Ormachea was convicted of traveling to the United States with the intent to commit extortion and attempted extortion.
At trial, the evidence showed that Ormachea, the National Chief of the Bolivian Police’s Anti-Corruption Department, traveled to the United States to extort Humberto Roca, a Bolivian citizen and political exile who was living in the United States.
Mr. Roca was a successful and prominent Bolivian businessman who had run the country’s largest private airline, Aerosur. After Mr. Roca spoke out against the Bolivian government, the Bolivian government charged him and members of his family with various crimes against the State. Ormachea flew to the United States to meet with Mr. Roca. During his meetings with Mr. Roca, Ormachea told Mr. Roca that he was in charge of several of the criminal cases against him, that he decided what the criminal investigations showed and what they did not show, and that he provided the components necessary for the Bolivian government to make decisions on Mr. Roca’s cases. Ormachea then told Mr. Roca that he believed him to be innocent of any crimes but that it would cost him $30,000 to have Ormachea shift the investigations to the guilty parties.
Ormachea faces a statutory maximum sentence of up to 25 years in prison, plus fines and restitution. Ormachea will be sentenced in May by U.S. District Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John R. Byrne and Jon Juenger.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.