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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Lorain man and federal prison inmate convicted for conspiracy to commit murder for hire and to distribute cocaine

A Lorain man and an inmate at a federal prison in New Jersey were convicted by a jury for their conspiracy to commit murder for hire and to distribute cocaine.

Eduardo Rios Velasquez, 37, of Lorain, and Angel Cordero, 37, an inmate at Fort Dix Federal Correctional Institution, are scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 18. They were both convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit murder for hire and one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

Velasquez and Cordero had previously been incarcerated together. Cordero was in contact with Velasquez in the summer of 2017 through a contraband cellular phone that had been smuggled into Fort Dix, according to court documents and trial testimony.

Cordero put Velasquez in contact with another inmate. Velasquez offered to pay the other inmate money if he could provide Velasquez with the address for a woman identified in court documents as T.G. Cordero told the inmate that Velasquez had been hired to kill T.G, according to court documents.

Additionally, another person supplied Velasquez with large shipments of cocaine, with Cordero serving as the broker in the deals. Federal law enforcement authorities intercepted a kilogram of cocaine in July that was being shipped to Velasquez, according to court documents and trial testimony.

“This case was an outstanding effort by investigators and prosecutors from multiple states and jurisdictions who came together to avert a tragedy,” U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said.

“This case shows that no one is out of reach from being charged and prosecuted when a crime is committed. Even when serving a sentence, Cordero continued his criminal activity with little regard of the consequences,” said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI New York.  “Now he and Valasquez were found guilty of their actions and will now face whatever sentence issued because of their reprehensible actions.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge James Hunt stated: “It is not uncommon for our investigations to unveil drug-related murders; but this significant murder-for-hire plot paved a twisted path from New York City to Lorain, Ohio.  Law enforcement collaboration helped prevent another murder from occurring.  I commend the dedicated and talented team of agents, detectives, investigators and prosecutors who worked on this investigation.” 

“The FBI is pleased with the jury's verdict. Velasquez will spend significant time behind bars for his ruthless willingness to kill someone for money,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony. “The FBI Cleveland Division commends the collaboration between the law enforcement agencies involved in disrupting and prosecuting this murder for hire.”

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian McDonough, Brad Beeson and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Hiral Mehta following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s New York office, the DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force – which is comprised of agents, detectives and investigators of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, New York City Police Department and the New York State Police -- and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cleveland office, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Mike Tobin 216.622.3651 michael.tobin@usdoj.gov
Updated May 8, 2018