Hitman tied to fake ID ring sentenced to life in prison
BY KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter February 14, 2014 4:16PM
Updated: March 17, 2014 11:35AM
A hired hitman was sentenced to life in prison Friday for his deadly role in a Southwest Side side fake ID ring.
Gerardo Salazar-Rodriguez traveled to Mexico City in 2007 to kill Guillermo “Montes” Jimenez-Flores, a business rival of Julio and Manuel Leija-Sanchez, two brothers who made millions selling fake IDs in Little Village.
The Leija-Sanchezes ordered Jimenez-Flores’ murder because they believed he was muscling in on their racket, selling fake driver’s licenses and social security cards to immigrants in a parking lot on 26th Street.
Wiretapped phone conversations in which Salazar-Rodriguez discussed the black blood that flowed from Jimenez-Flores’ liver after he was gunned down in a taxi — a detail only the killer could have known — helped seal his and the Leija-Sanchez brothers’ fates at a trial last year.
U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer’s decision Friday to sentence Salazar-Rodriguez to life behind bars is the final act in a seven-year court case that saw more than a dozen defendants convicted.
Ald. Ricardo Munoz’s (22nd) father, who owned the studio where the Leija-Sanchez customers posed for photos for their phony IDs, was among the first defendants to plead guilty to lesser charges.
The Leija-Sanchez brothers were sentenced to life last week.