MS-13 Defendant Pleads Guilty to Murder in Aid of Racketeering
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A defendant in the MS-13 racketeering case pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court today and accepted responsibility for his involvement in a homicide.
Erasmo Humberto Lima-Martinez, 32, of Columbus, pleaded guilty today to one count of murder in aid of racketeering.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Todd A. Wickerham, 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 Interim Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan announced the plea entered into today before Chief U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr.
Lima-Martinez, also known as “Tun Tun,” is one of 23 individuals charged in a second superseding indictment in February 2018 who are alleged to be members and associates of MS-13 in Columbus.
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 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, Lima-Martinez accepted responsibility for his role in the Wilson Villeda homicide in 2015. Villeda was a 17-year-old high school student at the time of his murder, and had been deemed to be affiliated with a rival gang. MS-13 leadership in El Salvador authorized Villeda’s murder, and in November 2015, MS-13 members took Villeda to Innis Park, where they attacked and killed him with a machete and other bladed weapons before burying his body in a shallow grave in the woods in the park.
Lima-Martinez also took part in drug trafficking cocaine, marijuana and heroin on behalf of the criminal enterprise.
Lima-Martinez faces up to 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.
# # #