Second guilty plea in New London murder for hire plot

A New London man pleaded guilty this morning in New London Superior Court to taking part in a failed murder-for-hire plot in August 2011.

Elmer A. Melendez, 30, will be sentenced Sept. 26 to three years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder. By the time he is sentenced he will have already served more than two thirds of the prison term.

The plea agreement worked out between Prosecutor Christa Baker and defense attorney Bruce McIntyre and approved by Judge Susan B. Handy follows the guilty plea in May of Antonio "Wilson" Peña, 36, who police say hired two men to kill a rival drug dealer.

On the eve of his trial, the state offered Peña the opportunity to plead guilty in exchange for an eight-year prison sentence, followed by six years of special parole, because the intended target, Oscar "Tato" Valentin, had been arrested on federal drug distribution charges.

According to New London police, Peña was upset that Valentin had taken his drug-dealing business. Police said that in August 2011, he planned to pay $5,000 to Gerardo Carrillo of Westbrook, and $10,000 to Melendez, 28, of 208 Crystal Ave, New London. Tipped off by an informant, police pulled over the informant, Carrillo and Melendez after the informant and Carrillo picked up Melendez at his apartment.

Carrillo's case is pending and he is due back in court on July 25.

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