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New London man pleads guilty in connection with homicide in drug rivalry case

By Izaskun E. Larrañeta

Publication: theday.com

Published July 23. 2014 11:01AM   Updated July 23. 2014 11:47PM

New Haven — A New London man pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to committing a violent crime in the aid of racketeering, which stemmed from the September 2012 homicide of 36-year-old Javier Reyes.

Jose Rosado Jr., 21, also known as “Gugie," pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. London and faces a maximum prison term of 20 years when he is sentenced later this year.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Rosado was an associate of Oscar “Tato” Valentin of New London, who operated and managed a narcotics distribution enterprise at the “Green Garages,” a series of garage bays located as 12/14 Walker St. in New London.

In the summer of 2011, Valentin was the intended victim of a murder-for-hire plot orchestrated by former members of his enterprise in an attempt to take over narcotics distribution at the Green Garages.

Last October, Elmer Melendez, 30, of New London was sentenced to three years in prison for conspiring to kill Valentin in August 2011. According to the state, Antonio “Wilson” Peña of New London had arranged to pay Melendez and Gerardo Carrillo a total of $15,000 to kill Valentin, a rival drug dealer who has since been charged with federal drug distribution crimes and is incarcerated.

Peña was previously sentenced to eight years in prison. Carrillo was also sentenced to three years in prison.

Melendez had planned to distract Valentin with a gun while Carrillo fatally stabbed him. The men had gathered clothing, a knife and gun and were headed to Valentin’s apartment when they were stopped by New London police, who had been tipped off by an informant.

Peña’s brother-in-law, Reyes, was fatally stabbed at the Huntington Street apartment where Peña’s family resides. Court officials have said Valentin, the intended target of the murder-for-hire scheme, was suspected in that homicide.

Video surveillance at the time of the attack shows Rosado carrying a bat, and another individual, creeping toward Reyes and then running away from him about 15 seconds later.

Valentin , Nestor “Ernie” Pagan, 31, and Andrew “Papo” Aviles, 26, all from New London, were indicted by a federal grand jury in March in connection with this case.

This matter is being investigated by the New London Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Connecticut State Police’s Eastern District Major Crime Squad, the Connecticut Department of Correction, Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Secret Service and the New London State’s Attorney’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony Kaplan and Sarah Karwan, and New London County’s Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Paul Narducci.

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