An Ohio man and federal prison inmate in New Jersey was convicted by a jury of their conspiracy to murder for hire and distribution cocaine.
Eduardo Rios Velasquez, 37, of Lorain, and Angel Cordero, 37, an inmate at Fort Dix Federal Correctional Institution, are scheduled to be sentenced September 18, 2018. They were both convicted on one count of conspiracy to murder for hire and one count of conspiracy distribution cocaine, according to DEA.
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 federal prison, according to trial testimony and court documents.
Angel Cordero put Velasquez in contact with another prison inmate. Velasquez offered to pay the other inmate if he could provide Velasquez with the address for a woman identified in the documents as T.G. Cordero told the federal prison inmate that Velasquez had been hired to kill T.G.
Additionally, another person supplied Velasquez with large shipments of cocaine, with Cordero serving as the broker in the deals. Feds intercepted a kilogram of cocaine in July that was being shipped to Velasquez, according to trial testimony and court documents.
“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 Herdman said.
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.”
“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.”
“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.”