6th suspect charged in Puerto Rico murder-for-hire
Aug. 17, 2013
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — FBI agents late Friday arrested the brother of a Puerto Rican woman accused of hiring a hit man to kill her wealthy Canadian husband.
He is the sixth suspect to be accused in a 2005 murder-for-hire scheme that led to an investigation spanning two continents and saw a wrongfully accused man released from prison.
The FBI said Chalbert Vazquez Rijos was arrested at his house in the San Juan suburb of Rio Piedras and charged with one count of perjury. He will be held without bond until a hearing scheduled for Monday.
FBI spokesman Moises Quinones declined to provide details about the arrest, citing a gag order.
Vazquez had testified about the case before a grand jury in July and told reporters at the time that he and other family members charged were innocent.
His arrest comes nearly two months after his sister, Aurea Vazquez Rijos, was arrested in Spain after flying in from Italy, where she had been living since 2008.
A federal grand jury indicted her that year following accusations that she offered a hit man $3 million to kill Adam Anhang, her 32-year-old husband. He had developed seaside hotels and condominiums in Puerto Rico and served as CEO of a Costa Rica-based online gambling software company.
The Winnipeg native was beaten and stabbed to death in historic Old San Juan in September 2005 while he walked with Vazquez near a restaurant he had bought for her.
Vazquez refused to cooperate with police and filed a civil lawsuit against Anhang's family, seeking $1 million in damages and millions more from his estate. A judge in Puerto Rico dismissed the suit.
Shortly after the killing, local police charged a Puerto Rican man with murder who was wrongfully convicted and spent eight months in prison before being released in June 2008. Authorities later charged another suspect, Alex Pabon Colon, with the killing. He pleaded guilty and cooperated with investigators.
Aurea Vazquez's sister and an ex-boyfriend were arrested in Puerto Rico earlier this year and charged in the case as well.
Up until this year, Aurea Vazquez had been living in Florence and Venice, where she worked as a tour guide and had twins with another man. She has denied any wrongdoing.
U.S. officials have said her extradition could take up to nine months.