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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 27, 2018

Defendant Pleads Guilty in MS-13 Racketeering Conspiracy Case

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Nehemias Joel Martinez-Hernandez, also known as Mysterio, 21, of Columbus, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering.

Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, Rebecca Adducci, Detroit Field Office Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations, Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin and Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs announced the plea entered into today before Chief U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr.

Martinez-Hernandez is one of 23 individuals charged in a second superseding indictment in February who are alleged to be members and associates of the Columbus clique of MS-13.

The defendants are charged in a racketeering conspiracy, which includes five murders as well as attempted murder, extortion, money laundering, drug trafficking, assault, obstruction of justice, witness intimidation, weapons offenses and immigration-related violations.

The second superseding indictment alleges that the defendants committed a host of overt acts in furtherance of the conspiracy, including: 1) the December 2006 murder of Jose Mendez, a suspected confidential informant, in Perry County; 2) the November 2008 murder of Ramon Ramos on Lockbourne Road in Columbus; 3) the mid-2015 murder of Carlos Serrano-Ramos, a suspected rival gang member, near Innis Road in Columbus; 4) the November 2015 murder of Wilson Villeda near Innis Road in Columbus; and 5) the December 2016 murder of Salvador Martinez-Diaz,  a suspected rival gang member, on Melroy Avenue in Columbus.

As part of his plea, Martinez-Hernandez has accepted responsibility for his role in the murder of Serrano-Ramos, as well as an attempted murder and drug trafficking.  Martinez-Hernandez faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI, ICE, Columbus Division of Police and Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, and the assistance of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), as well as Assistant United States Attorneys Brian J. Martinez and Jessica H. Kim, who are prosecuting the case.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Contact: 
jennifer.thornton@usdoj.gov
Updated September 27, 2018