Springfield man sentenced to 16 years in prison in connection with New Britain murder

Published on Thursday, 25 February 2021 17:23


A Springfield man involved in a murder in New Britain in 2014 was sentenced to 16 years in prison on Thursday.

Joel Jaquez, 36, supplied the gun used in the killing of 24-year-old Jesus Silva, of Meriden, whose death was the result of a feud involving narcotics trafficking from Puerto Rico, officials from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Federal officials also said Jaquez assisted in the death of Silva, which occurred on Yeaton Street in New Britain on Dec. 30, 2014. He was shot in the head.

Jaquez’s 16-year prison term will be followed by five years of supervised release.

According to federal officials, investigators found 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 areas with cocaine. Cardona-Diaz hid the drugs in ceramic moldings and shipped them in the mail to be distributed in the area. In turn, cash was sent back to him in Puerto Rico.

In November 2014, investigators seized two packages containing a total of about $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, federal officials said, he hired Jesus Sierra, of Springfield, to murder Silva for $5,000 and an agreement to supply him with future shipments of cocaine.

Sierra then received a firearm from Jaquez and agreed to pay him a portion of the money.

The day of the killing, 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. Once in New Britain on Yeaton Street, Sierra shot and killed Silva, federal officials said.

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

Sierra pleaded guilty to the same charge in January 2017 as well.

Additionally, in September 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.

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or jmuszynski@bristolpress.com.

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Thursday, 25 February 2021 17:23. Updated: Thursday, 25 February 2021 17:26.