Ronie Lessa, one of the executioners of councilor Marielle Franco and driver Anderson Gomes, was sentenced to five years in prison for international arms trafficking on Friday (5). The 5th Federal Criminal Court of Rio de Janeiro also determined the payment of a fine of R$ 454 thousand for attempted international trafficking in firearms. The ex-PM sergeant continues to be responsible for the murder and has been imprisoned since March 2019 in the maximum security prison in Mossoró, Rio Grande do Norte.
The new conviction relates to the importation of 16 new flame arresters for AR-15 or similar rifles in 2017, after the seizure of a package from Hong Kong by the Federal Revenue Service at Galeão International Airport, in Rio de Janeiro. Academia Supernova Saúde do Corpo appeared as the recipient of the order, but in fact, the destination was an apartment of Lessa, where he stored and assembled weapons, according to the investigation by the Federal Police.
O Disarmament Statute establishes that the Federal Government, through the Army, will establish which are the firearms and accessories of prohibited, restricted and allowed uses. It is also the Army Command that must authorize the acquisition of firearms for restricted use. As Lessa did not present documents authorizing the purchase of the rifle parts, he was found guilty.
The court maintained Lessa’s preventive detention in order to guarantee public order. As there are indications that he is part of a criminal organization, the prison seeks to prevent the practice of new crimes.
Lessa left the Military Police and started to carry out murders “on order”. In addition to being the author of the deaths of Marielle and Anderson, he is investigated by the Public Ministry of Rio de Janeiro for four other homicides.
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The ex-PM’s wife, Elaine Lessa, has also been in prison since July last year, accused of being part of a faction that carried out international drug trafficking operations. She had also been accused of international arms trafficking, but was acquitted.
In 2021, the couple had already been sentenced to four years in open prison for destroying evidence of the crime against Marielle and Anderson.
Ronnie and Elaine Lessa were neighbors of Jair and Carlos Bolsonaro in the condominium Vivendas da Barra, in the west of Rio de Janeiro.
Editing: Sarah Fernandes