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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Hector Rivera Sentenced To Life In Prison Plus 25 Years For Ordering 2004 Murder Of Jeweler In Midtown Manhattan

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that HECTOR RIVERA was sentenced today to life in prison plus 25 years for murder-for-hire, murder-for-hire conspiracy, and use of a firearm resulting in death, in connection with his role in ordering the 2004 murder of Eduard Nektalov, a Manhattan diamond dealer.  RIVERA was convicted following a six-day trial in November 2017 before U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer, who imposed today’s sentence. 

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Hector Rivera ordered the execution-style murder of Eduard Nektalov, who was brazenly gunned down on a crowded street in midtown Manhattan nearly 14 years ago.  Thanks to the extraordinary work of our law enforcement partners, Rivera will now spend the rest of his life in prison.”

According to the allegations in the Indictment and the evidence presented in court during the trial:

RIVERA was the leader of a violent robbery crew that operated in the Diamond District in midtown Manhattan.  In 2004, RIVERA commissioned the murder of Eduard Nektalov because of a business dispute between Nektalov and one of RIVERA’s criminal associates.  During the evening rush hour on May 20, 2004, a hitman hired by RIVERA followed Nektalov from his jewelry store on West 47th Street.  Less than a block from the store, the hitman shot Nektalov once in the head and twice in the back, in the middle of a crowded sidewalk on Sixth Avenue.  Nektalov was pronounced dead within 20 minutes of the shooting.  RIVERA paid the hitman and another participant a combined total of $30,000 to carry out the murder.

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Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York City Police Department.  He also thanked the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office for their assistance with the prosecution.  

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott Hartman and Jordan Estes are in charge of the prosecution. 

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
Updated May 2, 2018