BEAUMONT, Texas – A Honduran national residing in Port Arthur has pleaded responsible to federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, declared Performing U.S. Lawyer Nicholas J. Ganjei today.
Santos Orellana-Hernandez, 47, pleaded responsible to use of interstate commerce services in the commission of murder-for-employ, tampering with a witness by intimidation and threats, and conspiracy to commit witness tampering. Orellana-Hernandez entered his guilty plea currently in advance of U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield.
“Public security in the Japanese District of Texas is increased by the exceptional partnerships we have involving regional and federal law enforcement. In this scenario, as before long as the Port Arthur Police Department acquired of the defendant’s plot to destroy his Port Arthur family’s family members in Honduras, they coordinated with the FBI, who moved swiftly to reduce any bloodshed,” claimed Acting U.S. Legal professional Nicholas J. Ganjei. “I also commend the huge get the job done of the investigative and prosecutorial team, which flew to Honduras to job interview witnesses and prepare the felony case against Mr. Orellana-Hernandez. Because of the great get the job done of law enforcement in this make a difference, lives were being saved.”
“Today’s announcement highlights the FBI’s endeavours in Beaumont, the FBI Legal Attaché office, and its regional regulation enforcement and global companions to tirelessly and aggressively employ all offered investigative instruments and solutions at their disposal,” stated Houston FBI Distinctive Agent in Cost Perrye K. Turner. “Law enforcement and the community need to carry on to get the job done collectively to make certain our communities’ basic safety.”
“We take pleasure in the continued collaboration of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI on this scenario,” stated Port Arthur Law enforcement Main Timothy Duriso. “We will go on to operate carefully with our federal partners to make Port Arthur a safer position.”
In accordance to details presented in courtroom, from January to March of 2020, Orellana-Hernandez, residing in Port Arthur, Texas, solicited the murder of two prolonged household members residing in Honduras. Specially, Orellana-Hernandez solicited Gustavo Ramires, a human being situated in Honduras, to eliminate Orellana-Hernandez’s mother-in-legislation, G.V., and brother-in-law, J.A.V. The goal of the intended murders was revenge towards Orellana-Hernandez’s shortly-to-be ex-spouse, who was searching for a divorce from Orellana-Hernandez in Jefferson County, Texas. Orellana-Hernandez reportedly advised E.A.V. that he would make her “cry tears of blood.”
Orellana-Hernandez supplied to spend Ramires $200,000 in Honduran Lempira (around $8,000 in U.S. pounds) on proof that Ramires had killed G.V., J.A.V., and two other folks. Orellana-Hernandez directed Ramires to execute the killings on or soon after April 21, 2020, the day when the divorce was to turn out to be remaining. Ramires was additionally instructed to offer photographic evidence of the killings just before he would receive payment. Ramires later positioned a recorded telephone get in touch with to Orellana-Hernandez, in which the two mentioned the murder-for-retain the services of plot, applying coded language this kind of as “planting the corn,” to refer to the killings. Ramires afterwards instructed investigators that “planting the corn” meant burying the victims’ bodies.
Orellana-Hernandez was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 20, 2020 and taken into federal custody. In early June, even though jailed, Orellana-Hernandez conspired with a different man or woman to intimidate E.A.V. in an endeavor to make her withdraw the murder-for-hire accusation. On Nov. 4, 2020, the grand jury returned a superseding indictment that additional the witness tampering prices.
Orellana-Hernandez faces up to 20 a long time in federal prison. The maximum statutory sentence approved by Congress is furnished below for info applications, as the sentencing will be identified by the courtroom based on the advisory sentencing rules and other statutory elements. A sentencing listening to will be scheduled right after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John B. Ross and Specific Assistant U.S. Legal professional Sean C. Day.