BOSTON (AP) — An associate of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested in a gun trafficking investigation related to the murder case against Hernandez.
Oscar Hernandez Jr., 23, of Orlando, Fla. — no relation to Aaron Hernandez — was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Boston on charges of obstruction of justice, witness tampering and lying under oath. He appeared Thursday in federal court in Orlando, where a magistrate judge ordered him detained pending his transfer to Boston to face the charges.
Aaron Hernandez and two other men are charged in the June 17 shooting death of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was found dead in an industrial park about a mile from Aaron Hernandez’s North Attleborough home.
The indictment against Oscar Hernandez says a grand jury in Massachusetts began investigating the transporting of guns from Florida to Massachusetts after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — at the request of Massachusetts State Police — traced three guns that had been recovered during the investigation of Lloyd’s killing. The ATF determined that all three guns were purchased in Florida in April 2013.
Massachusetts officials have said they have been unable to find the gun used to kill Lloyd, which they’ve identified as a .45-caliber Glock.
None of the three guns mentioned in Oscar Hernandez’s indictment is a .45-caliber Glock.
The indictment says one of the three weapons — a rifle — was found in a gray Toyota Camry with Florida license plates that was parked in the garage of a residence in North Attleborough. The indictment doesn’t identify the owner of the home.
The indictment doesn’t identify the owner of the home, but Massachusetts state police have said that five days after Lloyd’s killing they seized an FEG 7.62 mm rifle from a gym bag on the back seat of a Toyota sedan parked inside Aaron Hernandez’s garage, according to court records in his case.
Aaron Hernandez’s lawyers have said a man identified as Oscar Hernandez was interviewed by law enforcement on June 27, 2013, 10 days after Lloyd died.
The new indictment accuses Oscar Hernandez of lying to the grand jury when he denied purchasing the Camry and arranging for it to be sent from Florida to the home in North Attleborough.
Assistant Federal Public Defender Todd Doss, who represented Oscar Hernandez in court Thursday, did not immediately return a call seeking comment. It was unclear when he would be brought to Boston to face the charges.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison on the witness tampering charge, up to 10 years on obstruction of justice and up to five years on the false testimony charges.