Skip to main content
Press Release

Puerto Rico Cocaine Trafficker Guilty of Orchestrating Murder of Connecticut Resident

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal jury in Hartford has found HECTOR CARDONA-DIAZ, 30, of Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico, guilty of orchestrating the murder of a Connecticut man in December 2014, and a related cocaine trafficking offense.  The trial before U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea began on September 11, and the guilty verdicts were returned yesterday afternoon.

“This defendant orchestrated the murder of an individual in retribution for a drug debt,” said U.S. Attorney Daly.  “It’s another senseless violent crime, and one that will result in a lifetime prison term.  I commend the Postal Inspectors, members of the DEA Task Force and New Britain Police officers, who together navigated a complex trail of postal, phone and cell site records to solve this murder.”

According to the evidence at trial, on December 30, 2014, Jesus Silva, 24, of Meriden was murdered by a gunshot to the head as he sat in his car on Yeaton Street in New Britain.  The investigation revealed 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.  Silva and others then mailed cash proceeds of the sale of cocaine back to CARDONA-DIAZ.  Over time, CARDONA-DIAZ believed that Silva had failed to provide him with a large amount of cash generated from the drug trafficking enterprise and planned his murder.

The investigation further revealed that CARDONA-DIAZ hired Jesus Sierra, of Springfield, Massachusetts, to murder Silva with a promise to pay him $5,000 and supply him with future shipments of cocaine.  Sierra then received a firearm from Joel Jaquez, also of Springfield, and promised to pay Jaquez approximately half of the money Sierra was going to be paid by CARDONA-DIAZ.

On December 30, 2014, Sierra arranged to meet Silva in Meriden, purportedly to purchase a car from him.  Sierra and Jaquez then traveled to Connecticut to meet Silva.  Sierra and Silva then drove together to New Britain under the ruse that Sierra needed a mechanic in New Britain to examine the car.  Jaquez followed Sierra and Silva in a separate car.  In New Britain, Sierra shot and killed and Silva.

The jury found CARDONA-DIAZ guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit murder for hire resulting in death and one count of murder for hire by interstate travel resulting in death.  Each of these charges carry a mandatory term of imprisonment of life.  The jury also found CARDONA-DIAZ guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, an offense that carries a mandatory term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.

A sentencing date has not been scheduled.

In January 2017, Sierra and Jaquez each pleaded guilty to one count of murder for hire by interstate travel resulting in death.  They await sentencing.

This matter has been investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Drug Enforcement Administration’s Hartford Task Force and New Britain Police Department.  The DEA Task Force includes personnel from the Bristol, Hartford, East Hartford, Manchester, New Britain, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield, Windsor Locks and Willimantic Police Departments.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys S. Dave Vatti and Geoffrey M. Stone, with the assistance of the New Britain State’s Attorney’s Office.

Updated September 27, 2017

Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime