HARTFORD — A Massachusetts man was sentenced in federal court Thursday to 16 years imprisonment for the contract killing of a Meriden man in New Britain six years ago.
Joel Jaquez, 36, of Springfield, Mass., had pleaded guilty to one count of murder for hire by interstate travel resulting in death in January 2017, two years after conspiring to shoot Jesus Silva, 24, of Meriden, in the head as he sat in his car on Yeaton Street in New Britain on Dec. 30, 2014, according to a statement Thursday from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Federal authorities, including the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Hartford Task Force, alleged that Jaquez agreed to accept $5,000 and future shipments of cocaine from Hector Cardona-Diaz, of Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico, to kill Silva, officials said.
Federal authorities allege that Cardona-Diaz was a large-scale narcotics trafficker who regularly supplied Silva and others in the Hartford and Springfield area with distribution quantities of cocaine that he concealed in ceramic moldings and shipped in packages using the U.S. Mail.
Cardona-Diaz allegedly hired Jaquez and another man, Jesus Sierra, of Springfield, to murder Silva because he believed that Silva had taken a large amount of cash generated from the drug trafficking enterprise, officials said.
Sierra arranged to meet Silva in Meriden on Dec. 30, 2014, purportedly to purchase a car from him. With Jaquez following Sierra and Silva in a separate car, the two drove together to New Britain under the ruse that Sierra needed a mechanic to examine the car. In New Britain, Sierra shot and killed Silva, officials said.
A jury found Cardona-Diaz guilty in September 2017 of one count of conspiracy to commit murder for hire resulting in death, one count of murder for hire by interstate travel resulting in death, and one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.
Jaquez, who has been jailed since his arrest in May 2015, pleaded guilty to the charge on Jan. 10, 2017. Cardona-Diaz and Sierra, who pleaded guilty to the same charge four days earlier, are jailed and awaiting sentencing, officials said.
Jaquez was also sentenced to five years of supervised release once he leaves prison, officials said.