26 October 2004 LAWFUEL – Law, legal, attorney, US Attorney, crime law newsMarcos Daniel Jiménez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; and Michael S. Clemens, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced today that defendant, Asbert Anazco, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Donald L. Graham in Miami, Florida, to a term of imprisonment of eighteen (18) months for his involvement in a conspiracy to obstruct justice and other related charges. The prosecution arose from the defendant’s conduct, along with co-defendants, Alexander Anazco, his son, and Armando Rodriguez, to thwart and impede the federal civil rights prosecution in the case styled as United States v. Jesus Aguero, 02-21074-CR-King/Altonaga, by providing false information to federal prosecutors and law enforcement officers.
On September 17, 2004, Alexander Anazco was sentenced by Judge Graham to a term of imprisonment of forty-eight (48) months. On July 29, 2004, Armando Rodriguez was sentenced by Judge Graham to a term of imprisonment of eight (8) months.
Trial in this prosecution had been set to begin on July 12, 2004. On May 14, 2004, co-defendant Armando Rodriguez pleaded guilty to counts 1 and 6 of the Indictment. On July 9, 2004, Alexander Anazco pleaded guilty to all charges alleged against him in the Indictment. On July 12, 2004, Asbert Anazco, Alexander’s father, entered a guilty plea to the charges alleged against him in Indictment.
Count 1 of the Indictment charged the Anazcos and Rodriguez with conspiracy to obstruct justice, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. Counts 2 and 3 of the Indictment charged the Anazcos 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 Rodriguez with making false statements, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001. Count 6 of the Indictment charged 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).
The Indictment resulted from an investigation conducted by the FBI concerning Rodriguez’s perjured testimony 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 Aguero trial, 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. 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 Rodriguez admitted during cross examination, he and Alexander Anazco had been personal friends for several years. In addition, Rodriguez later acknowledged that Alexander Anazco’s car had not been in the shop overnight on February 24, 1996.
Further investigation revealed that the false alibi was conceived in March 1997 when Asbert Anazco asked 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 Rodriguez to state that he did not know Alexander Anazco. 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. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Karen E. Rochlin.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls