New London man sentenced in connection with Green Garages homicide

A New London man was sentenced Wednesday for his role in the 2012 fatal stabbing of a man in connection with a drug operation out of a series of garage bays in the city.

Jose Rosado Jr., also known as "Gugie," was sentenced to five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his role in the Sept. 12, 2012, homicide of Javier Reyes in New London.

According to testimony and court documents, Rosado, now 21, and Andrew Aviles, now 29, were hired by an associate of Oscar "Tato" Valentin, who was the leader of a drug-dealing enterprise that operated out of a series of garage bays on Walker Street known as the Green Garages. In the summer of 2011, Valentin had been the intended victim of a murder-for-hire plot involving Reyes' brother-in-law, Antonio Pena, according to court documents and testimony.

Reyes was stabbed multiple times outside of his apartment at 187 Huntington St. and died a short time later. He also had blunt force trauma to the back of his head.

Video surveillance of the attack showed Rosado, carrying a bat, and Aviles creeping toward Reyes and then running away from him about 15 seconds later.

Prior to his arrest, Rosado had been involved with the juvenile court system, but had no prior criminal record, according to a presentencing memorandum written by his attorney, Aaron J. Romano.

Rosado initially refused to participate in what was supposed to be a "beat down," but agreed to take part after Nestor "Ernie" Pagan, an associate of Valentin, promised him $1,200, according to the memorandum. Rosado was never paid.

He has been in custody since January 2014. His attorney asked the court to consider a sentence of time served and supervised release based on Rosado's age at the time of the crime, his acceptance of responsibility and his lack of a criminal record. In a statement to a federal probation officer, Rosado said he cries and prays every night about the crime and would like to ask Reyes' children for forgiveness.

"If they couldn't, I would understand, but I just want to say I'm sorry," he told the probation officer.

A federal jury in May 2016 found Valentin was found guilty of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine, a charge that carries a five-year mandatory minimum sentence. He awaits sentencing. The same jury could not agree on his alleged conspiracy with Pagan to hire three men to assault Reyes.

Pagan later pleaded guilty in state Superior Court to conspiracy to commit first-degree assault and was sentenced to 17 years in prison. Another participant, Masseiyah J. Williams Jr., pleaded guilty to cocaine possession charges and was sentenced in December 2016 to time served followed by three years of supervised release.

k.florin@theday.com

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