Third man pleads guilty in murder-for-hire plot

A third man pleaded guilty Thursday to participating in a plot to murder a man in New London two years ago.

Gerardo Carrillo, 26, of Westbrook will be sentenced Oct. 22 to three years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder.

Antonio "Wilson" Peña, 36, of New London, who the state said arranged to pay Carrillo and Elmer Melendez, 26, of New London, a total of $15,000 to kill a rival drug dealer, was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison followed by six years of special parole.

Peña's case was headed for trial in May when prosecutor Christa L. Baker offered a plea deal with a reduced sentence because the intended target of the hit, Oscar "Tato" Valentin of New London, had been arrested on federal drug distribution charges in April. He remains incarcerated.

The state then offered reduced sentences of three years in prison to Melendez and Carrillo. Melendez is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 26.

According to New London police, Peña, upset that Valentin had taken his drug-dealing business, arranged to pay Carrillo and Melendez to kill Peña on Aug. 18, 2011. Tipped off by an informant, police pulled over the informant, Carrillo and Melendez after the informant and Carrillo picked up Melendez at his apartment. Both men admitted to taking part in the plot.

k.florin@theday.com

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