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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 16, 2019

Illegal Alien MS-13 Member Sentenced To Nineteen Years In Federal Prison For Violent Crime And Drug Distribution

Federal Witness was Threatened & Tortured

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – May 16, 2019 – Gerson Serrano-Ramirez, aka Frijole, 31, an illegal alien and MS-13 gang member from El Salvador, was sentenced today to 19 years in prison, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee .  At the completion of his sentence, Serrano-Ramirez will be deported from the United States.

Serrano-Ramirez was convicted by a federal jury in September 2018, of using physical force to tamper with a witness; being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm; illegally re-entering the United States after previously being deported; multiple counts of cocaine distribution; and multiple counts of other firearms violations. 

According to evidence and testimony presented at trial, in July 2017, the activities of Seranno-Ramirez and other MS-13 Gang members were disrupting the normal operation and business of a local night club and this was brought to the attention of Serrano-Ramirez by an acquaintance, with a request to tone down their disruptive behavior.  Serrano-Ramirez later invited the individual to his home in the Antioch, Tennessee area, where he subsequently assaulted him by pointing an assault rifle at him; strangling him with the rifle strap; spraying bleach into his eyes; and then attempted to suffocate him by placing a plastic bag over his head.  Finally, while clamping the individual’s finger with a pair of pliers and holding an assault rifle on him, Seranno-Ramirez told the individual that if he told anyone about the assault that he would kill him and his mother. 

Evidence introduced during the trial also included video of the assault which was captured on an in-home security system at Serrano-Ramirez’ house and videos of him packaging and selling cocaine from the residence.  This video was discovered and seized during the subsequent execution of a search warrant.  Also seized during this search was an AK-47 assault rifle; multiple rifle magazines; 582 rounds of ammunition; body armor; and a small amount of cocaine and marijuana.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; Homeland Security Investigations – Immigration & Customs Enforcement; and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department Gang Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Ahmed Safeeullah and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Matthew Hoff prosecuted the case.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Immigration
Violent Crime
Contact: 
David Boling Public Information Officer 615-736-5956 david.boling2@usdoj.gov
Updated May 16, 2019