Hitman tied to fake ID ring sentenced to life in prison

Written By BY KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter Posted: 03/17/2014, 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.

Twitter: @kimjnews

Email: kjanssen@suntimes.com

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