South Side hitman tells of killings in trial involving ex-cop

SHARE South Side hitman tells of killings in trial involving ex-cop

Saul Rodriguez | handout photo | Sun-Times

A confessed South Side hit man testified Tuesday that he methodically stalked two targets and shot them to death on the orders of a drug kingpin.

But Andres Flores told jurors he quit the killing business after botching two other murder-for-hire assignments. In the last one in 2005, officers caught him flipping through a men’s magazine as he sat in his car waiting for his target, Flores said.

Flores, 30, testified in the federal drug conspiracy trial of six men, including former Chicago Police Officer Glenn Lewellen.

Lewellen isn’t accused of participating in the murder-for-hire plots but was involved in kidnappings, robberies and narcotics deals with kingpin Saul Rodriguez, prosecutors say.

Flores and Rodriguez have both pleaded guilty and agreed to testify. Flores faced life in prison but has agreed to a 175-month term in a deal with prosecutors.

Dressed in an orange jail uniform, he spoke without emotion about killing people.

Flores testified that he fatally shot Juan Luevano for $5,000 on June 3, 2000, because Rodriguez was angry that Luevano was dating Rodriguez’s ex-girlfriend.

He said he and Manuel Uriarte – who’s on trial – conducted several days of surveillance on Luevano before carrying out the hit outside his girlfriend’s home in Cicero.

They even snatched a photo from the purse of Luevano’s girlfriend to confirm his identity, Flores said.

On the day of the murder, they lurked in the dark for about an hour before Luevano got out of a car. They shot him with revolvers, which they picked because they don’t leave bullet casings behind as evidence, Flores said.

He said he and Uriarte were then hired by Rodriguez in 2001 to murder Michael Garcia on the Southwest Side. Rodriguez orchestrated the killing as a favor for a man who suspected that Garcia – a rival gang member – struck and killed his brother with a car, Flores said.

Uriarte was the getaway driver, and Flores waited in the dark for Garcia to walk from his home, Flores said.

He said he stood over Garcia to finish him off and was paid $7,000 for the May 31, 2001, slaying.

Flores said he was arrested in 2002 on weapons charges and sent to prison until 2004. He was deported to Mexico, but “I came right back,” he testified.

He said he was hired in 2005 to kill a man outside a Chicago bar – but the target survived his bullet wound.

Flores said he was then assigned to kill another man in 2005.

But Berwyn police caught Flores flipping through Maxim magazine as he sat in his car doing surveillance. The officers didn’t realize he was a hit man and didn’t find a gun hidden in a secret compartment in his car, he said.

Flores was taken to jail on lewd-conduct charges and freed after giving police a fake ID, he said.

Afterward, he refused to do any more killings, Flores testified. “I told [Rodriguez] I didn’t want to do any more jobs,” he said. “I didn’t want to kill another person . . . or go back to jail.”

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