Friday, October 15, 2021

Defendant Sentenced To 23 Years In Prison For 2011 Murder


 Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MICHAEL CASTILLO, a/k/a “Squirrel,” was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl to 276 months in prison for the March 10, 2011 murder of Hector Arias in the Bronx, New York.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “In 2011, Michael Castillo shot and killed Hector Arias in cold blood in front of his fiancée and her young child.  Today’s lengthy sentence shows that law enforcement will never give up on murder victims and their loved ones, no matter how long it takes to achieve justice.”

According to the allegations in the Indictment and other filings and statements made in court:

CASTILLO was a member of a conspiracy to distribute marijuana centered near 193rd Street and Broadway in Manhattan.  CASTILLO was hired by the leader of the conspiracy, DAVID ESPINAL, a/k/a “D-Block,” to kill Hector Arias, the leader of a rival marijuana business operating in the same area.  On March 10, 2011, CASTILLO shot and killed Arias near 712 East Gun Hill Road in the Bronx, New York.  Arias’s fiancée and her eight year-old child witnessed the murder.  CASTILLO and ESPINAL’s murder plot arose out of the rivalry between ESPINAL and Arias’s two marijuana businesses.  After CASTILLO completed the murder, ESPINAL paid him in cash. 

In addition to his prison sentence, CASTILLO, 38, was sentenced to five years of supervised release. 

On or about December 8, 2020, CASTILLO’s co-defendant, ESPINAL, pleaded guilty to conspiring to kill Arias, among other offenses.  During his guilty plea, ESPINAL admitted to hiring a hitman to kill Arias.    

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in this case. 

No comments:

Post a Comment