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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

Friday, March 3, 2017

Bronx Man Convicted In Manhattan Federal Court Of 2013 Double Murder Of Two Cousins

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ORANE NELSON, a/k/a “Amaze,” 28, was convicted today of murdering Jennifer Rivera and Jason Rivera on January 16, 2013, in the Bronx, in connection with a dispute over a drug debt, as well as narcotics conspiracy and firearms possession charges.  At the time of their murders, Jennifer Rivera was 20 and Jason Rivera was 30.  The jury convicted NELSON on all four counts in the controlling indictment following a two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Denise L. Cote.   

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “Orane Nelson executed two people in cold blood over a drug debt.  He killed Jason Rivera over a drug debt, and Jennifer Rivera – a 20-year-old college student who had nothing to do with that drug debt – just because she was there.  Today’s unanimous jury verdict finding Nelson guilty on all counts ensures Nelson will be held to account for his violent and callous crimes.”

According to court papers and evidence admitted at trial:

From 2011 to 2013, ORANE NELSON, a/k/a “Amaze,” was a crack dealer in the Bronx who also carried guns to protect his drug business.  In January 2013, NELSON had a dispute with Jason Rivera over a drug debt owed by NELSON.  Following the dispute, NELSON decided to murder Jason Rivera, and lured Jason Rivera out to a location in the Bronx with the promise of money to be paid for the debt owed.  Jason Rivera brought along his 20-year-old cousin, Jennifer Rivera, who was not involved in any drug trafficking activities, to pick up the money promised by NELSON.  Shortly after midnight, NELSON and an accomplice entered Jason Rivera’s vehicle, and minutes later executed both Jason Rivera and Jennifer Rivera by shooting them each in the head at close range.  Jennifer was killed because she was a witness to the murder of Jason Rivera.

For these activities, NELSON was convicted of one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life, one count of possession of firearms in furtherance of a narcotics conspiracy, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of life, to be served consecutively, and two counts of causing the death of another through use of a firearm, each of which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and a maximum of  life, to be served consecutively.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

NELSON is scheduled to be sentenced on June 23, 2017, before Judge Cote.

U.S. Attorney Bharara praised the FBI and the NYPD for their outstanding work in this investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jared Lenow and Jessica Feinstein are in charge of the prosecution.

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
Updated March 3, 2017