12 July 2004 – LAWFUEL – Marcos D. Jiménez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; and Michael Clemens, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today that defendants, Alexander Anazco, and Asbert Anazco, Alexander’s father, have pleaded guilty to having conspired to obstruct justice and to other substantive charges. The charges stem from the defendants’ on-going activities to thwart and impede the federal civil rights prosecution in United States v. Jesus Aguero, 02-21074-CR-King/Altonaga, by providing false information to federal prosecutors and law enforcement officers. The Anazcos’ trial had been set to begin today. On Friday, July 9, 2004, Alexander Anazco pleaded guilty to all charges alleged against him in the Indictment. Today, his father, Asbert, entered a guilty plea on all charges alleged against him in the Indictment. With the Anazcos’ guilty pleas, all defendants charged in the case have been convicted. On May 14, 2004, Armando Rodriguez, the third defendant charged in the case, pleaded guilty to Counts 1 and 6 of the Indictment.
Count 1 of the Indictment charged the Anazcos and Armando Rodriguez with conspiracy to obstruct justice, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. Counts 2 and 3 of the Indictment charged Alexander Anazco and Asbert Anazco with obstruction of justice, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1503. Counts 4 and 5 of the Indictment charged Alexander Anazco and Armando Rodriguez with making false statements, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001. Count 6 of the Indictment charged Armando Rodriguez with perjury for his false testimony at the civil rights trial, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1623(a). Count 7 of the Indictment charged Asbert Anazco with witness tampering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1512(b).
On the conspiracy count, each defendant faces a maximum statutory term of five (5) years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000. Alexander Anazco and Asbert Anazco each face a maximum statutory term of imprisonment of ten (10) years and a maximum fine of $250,000 on each of the obstruction of justice counts. Alexander Anazco faces a maximum statutory term of five (5) years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000 on each of the false statements counts. Armando Rodriguez faces a maximum statutory term of five (5) years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000 on the perjury count. Asbert Anazco faces a maximum statutory term of ten (10) years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000 on the witness tampering count.
The case resulted from an investigation conducted by the FBI concerning the perjured testimony of Armando Rodriguez in the Aguero civil rights trial, which involved the alleged beating of Alexander Anazco by City of Miami Police during the course of an arrest on February 26, 1997. Alexander Anazco was arrested in 1997 for allegedly throwing a rock at a police officer on February 24, 1997. On January 16, 2004, during the course of the Aguero trial, Armando Rodriguez, a car mechanic at Mito’s Brake Shop, falsely testified under oath that Alexander Anazco’s car had been at the shop overnight from February 24, 1997 to February 25, 1997, thereby giving Alexander Anazco an alibi during the supposed rock-throwing incident. Armando Rodriguez further testified that he did not have a personal relationship with Alexander Anazco, but only knew him as a client of the car repair shop. In truth, and as Armando Rodriguez admitted during cross examination, he and Alexander Anazco had been personal friends for several years. In addition, Armando Rodriguez later acknowledged that Alexander Anazco’s car had not been in the shop overnight on February 24, 1997.
Further investigation revealed that the false alibi was conceived in March 1997 when Asbert Anazco asked Armando Rodriguez to falsely report to law enforcement that Alexander Anazco’ s car had been at Mito’s Brake Shop overnight on February 24, 1997 to February 25, 1997. Asbert Anazco also directed Armando Rodriguez to state that he did not know Alexander Anazco. Armando Rodriguez consented and made statements to law enforcement officers, including agents of the FBI and prosecutors at the U.S. Attorneys’ Office, creating the false alibi for Alexander Anazco’s car. Likewise, Alexander Anazco provided the same false alibi to federal agents and prosecutors.
Mr. Jiménez commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the assistance provided by the Miami-Dade Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Karen E. Rochlin and Joan Silverstein.