Driver who served as ‘architect’ in plot to kill Miami car designer to the stars learns his fate

A New York man convicted of flying down to Miami and driving a would-be hitman to kill a high-profile car designer learned his fate Monday for being the “architect” of the failed murder plot.

Jamie Serrano, 46, was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison for plotting the shooting of Alex Vega in Aug. 2019, according to the Department of Justice.

Serrano is the second man to be sentenced for his involvement in the brazen shooting.

The gunman, Julian Jimenez, 27, was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison on Nov. 3 for shooting Vega three times as he pulled his black Range Rover into his garage.

Serrano, the mastermind behind the hit-gone-bad, had rented a vehicle after he arrived in Florida on Aug. 21, 2019, to conceal his surveillance of the victim as he watched his target for four days.

Julian Jimenez is seen sneaking up behind Vega as he pulls his black Range Rover into his garage.

On Aug. 27, the day of the shooting, Serrano had exchanged his rental vehicle for a new one and, later drove Jimenez to Vega’s Kendall neighborhood, the DOJ shared.

Donning a surgical mask and gloves while holding a firearm, Jimenez ran up behind Vega as he pulled into his garage and opened fire, intending to kill the car designer.

The hitman fired eight rounds at the victim — hitting him three times — then fled the scene, where he ran back to Serrano’s parked car and jumped into the trunk of the rental vehicle as both men made their escape.

Vega needed surgery to remove the projectiles left inside his body, the DOJ reported.

Jimenez fires eight shots into the car, hitting Vega three times before fleeing.

Both men were arrested in August 2022 for the failed hit.

Though Serrano was not the shooter, the jury determined he played a crucial role in carrying out the near-fatal hit since he bought the airline tickets from New York to Miami, rented the cars, and obtained the .40 caliber handgun Jimenez used to shoot Vega.

During the two-week-long trial, Judge Roy Altman had repeatedly referred to Serrano as “the architect” of the plot to kill Vega, according to the Miami Herald.

The judge also said during the trial that Serrano was “connected to the people who wanted Mr. Vega dead.”

Alex Vega (left) with soccer icon David Beckham.
Instagram /theautofirm
Vega with Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt after personalizing a Jeep for the fast man alive.
Instagram /theautofirm

The two guilty men have not revealed why or who sanctioned the hit on Vega.

A witness allegedly told the FBI that both men were offered $60,000 to carry out the hit, though that has not been confirmed, according to the Herald

Vega, a high-profile body shop owner in South Florida, has a clientele list that includes stars like Marc Anthony, Shakira, legendary soccer player David Beckham, gold medal Olympian Usain Bolt, Floyd Mayweather and MLB stars David Ortiz and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

The would-be-killer Jimenez’s father, Marcos, is one of Marc Anthony’s sound engineers and occasional property managers, according to court documents obtained by the outlet.

Vega (left) with singer Marc Anthony.
Instagram /theautofirm
Vega with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather.
Instagram /theautofirm

Anthony, who isn’t suspected of being involved in the crime, has reportedly become good friends with Vega after renovating several of the music star’s cars in recent years.

Serrano has also dabbled in the music industry, representing and marketing various artists, according to the outlet.

“If I could go back in time, I would take it back,” Serrano told Altman during Tuesday’s sentencing.

Both men will be on five years of supervised release after serving their sentences.

Vega was present at Tuesday’s hearing and even spoke briefly before the sentencing, demanding that Serrano get slapped with the maximum sentence legally allowed — sharing that the ordeal has not only physically wounded him, but he and his family have been living in fear since the shooting, and need a bodyguard when they leave the house.

“I want this guy to see his last day in a cell,” Vega told the judge.