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Press Release

Palo Alto Man Sentenced To More Than Seven Years In Murder-For-Hire Plot

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California
Defendant sought to have victim murdered after she filed a lawsuit against him for sexual harassment

SAN FRANCISCO – Ulices Cazarez was sentenced today to 87 months in prison for seeking to hire someone to murder his accuser in a sexual harassment case, announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Jill Snyder.

Cazarez, 39, of East Palo Alto, pleaded guilty on December 6, 2016.  A civil sexual harassment lawsuit was filed against Cazarez in late May 2015.  According to his plea agreement, Cazarez admitted that in June 2015 he was willing to pay thousands of dollars to have his accuser murdered.  The plea agreement describes the process by which Cazarez discussed prices as high as $40,000 with certain individuals.  Ultimately, Cazarez met with an undercover agent (UC) with the ATF.  On June 12, 2015, the UC posed as a hitman and met with the defendant in the parking lot of the Stonestown Mall in San Francisco to discuss the killing.  The two negotiated a price for the murder and Cazarez told the UC that he would obtain the address for the intended victim within days.  Federal agents and task force officers arrested Cazarez on June 26, 2015.  On July 9, 2015, a federal grand jury indicted Cazarez for use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1958.

The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, U.S. District Judge, in San Francisco. In addition to the prison term, Judge Breyer also sentenced the defendant to a three-year period of supervised release.  The defendant was immediately remanded into custody.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott D. Joiner and William Frentzen prosecuted the case with the assistance of Christine Tian, Lance Libatique, and Yanira Osorio.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the ATF and the San Francisco Police Department.

Updated March 8, 2017

Violent Crime