Springfield man sentenced to 16 years in federal prison for role in murder of Connecticut man

Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. (WWLP) – A district judge on Thursday sentenced a Springfield man to more than 10 years in federal prison for his involvement in the murder of a Connecticut man back in 2014. 

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut said 36-year-old Joel Jaquez was sentenced to 16 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release for his role in the death of Meriden resident 24-year-old Jesus Silva, who was shot in the head while sitting in his car in New Britain on December 30, 2014. 

Also arrested in connection with the murder are Jesus Sierra of Springfield, who was hired by Hector Cardona-Diaz, of Puerto Rico, to kill Silva for $5,000 and future shipments of cocaine.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Cardona-Diaz is a large-scale drug trafficker who regularly supplied Silva and others in the Hartford and Springfield area with distribution quantities of cocaine shipped in packages using the U.S. Mail.  

They also mailed the cash proceeds of the drug sales to Cardona-Diaz in Puerto Rico. In November 2014, police seized two packages containing $40,000 of drug sales that had been mailed to Cardona-Diaz. 

According to court documents, Cardona-Diaz learned Silva had taken a large amount of money from the drug trafficking business and hired Sierra to kill him. Sierra then got a firearm from Jaquez and promised to pay him a portion of the money he was going to receive for the murder. 

Springfield resident charged in Connecticut murder

Statements made in court show that Sierra arranged to meet Silva in Meriden to purchase a car from him, with Jaquez following in a separate car. Sierra shot and killed Silva in New Britain. 

Jaquez has been in custody since his arrest in May 2015. He pleaded guilty to one count of murder for hire by interstate travel resulting in death on January 10, 2017. 

Sierra pleaded guilty to the same charge on January 6, 2017. 

In September 2017, Cardona-Diaz was found guilty 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. 

Sierra and Cardona-Diaz remain in custody and awaiting sentencing. 

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