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Press Release

Springfield Man Involved in 2014 Murder Sentenced to 16 Years in Federal Prison

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

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JOEL JAQUEZ, 36, of Springfield, Massachusetts, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to 192 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for his role in the murder of a Connecticut man in 2014.

According to court documents and statements made in court, 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 Hector Cardona-Diaz, of Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico, 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 to Cardona-Diaz in Puerto Rico.  In November 2014, investigators seized two packages containing a total of approximately $40,000 in drug proceeds that had been mailed to Cardona-Diaz.

After Cardona-Diaz learned that Silva had taken a large amount of cash generated from the drug trafficking enterprise, Cardona hired Jesus Sierra, of Springfield, 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 Jaquez and promised to pay Jaquez a portion 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.

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

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

On September 26, 2017, a jury found Cardona-Diaz 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 are detained and awaiting sentencing.

This matter has been investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Hartford Task Force and the 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.

U.S. Attorney Durham thanked the New Britain State’s Attorney’s Office for its cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of this case.

Updated February 25, 2021

Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime