Aaron Hernandez associate pleads not guilty to federal charges

An associate of Aaron Hernandez pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in federal court in Boston to criminal charges that are linked to a June 2013 slaying that the former New England Patriot allegedly committed.

Oscar “Papoo” Hernandez Jr., 23, of Orlando, was ordered held without bail after pleading not guilty to charges of lying to a grand jury, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering. His lawyer, Charles P. McGinty, said during the brief hearing that he may contest bail at a later date. Aaron and Oscar Hernandez are not related.

According to the indictment handed up against Oscar Hernandez, he allegedly lied to a federal grand jury in Boston in December that was investigating the “transportation of firearms” from Florida to Massachusetts.

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The grand jury probe was prompted, in part, by a federal review of three firearms that Massachusetts State Police recovered during an investigation into the murder of Odin L. Lloyd, 27, of Dorchester, which Aaron Hernandez is alleged to have orchestrated.

Lloyd’s bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial yard near Aaron Hernandez’s sprawling North Attleborough home. The former NFL player has pleaded not guilty to murder and weapons charges and is being held without bail.

Two men who prosecutors say were with Aaron Hernandez when Lloyd was murdered, Ernest Wallace, 42, and Carlos Ortiz, 28, are scheduled to be arraigned on murder charges in the high-profile case on Thursday and on May 27, respectively, in Bristol Superior Court in Fall River.

Ortiz and Wallace, both of Bristol, Conn., had previously pleaded not guilty to lesser charges in connection with the slaying. Authorities have not said why they are now being charged with murder.