Cleveland - A Lorain man and an inmate at a federal prison in New Jersey were each sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for their conspiracy to commit murder for hire and to distribute cocaine.
Eduardo Rios Velasquez, 38, of Lorain, was sentenced to nearly 24 years in prison. Angel Cordero, 38, an inmate at Fort Dix Federal Correctional Institution, was sentenced to 25 years in prison, to be served consecutive to another 40-year prison sentence he is serving.
A jury convicted both last year 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. “These prison sentences demonstrate the serious nature of the crimes of these two defendants.”
“This case shows that no one is out of reach from being charged and prosecuted when a crime is committed,” said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI New York. “Even when serving a sentence, Cordero continued his criminal activity with little regard of the consequences.”
“The FBI is pleased with the sentencing handed down today. Velasquez will now have additional time to spend behind bars for his ruthless willingness to kill someone for money,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith. “The FBI Cleveland Division commends the collaboration between the law enforcement agencies involved in disrupting and prosecuting this murder for hire. Let's hope Mr. Velasquez has learned that he will be prosecuted if he chooses to engage in any more crime, no matter where he is located."
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.
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