Enrique Amaya, a 31-year-old Pontiac man, was sentenced on Monday to life in prison for conspiracy to commit murder by Detroit federal judge Paul Borman. Amaya was found guilty of the charges in June, after allegedly hiring a hit man to kill a man in Colorado so that he could avoid paying a cocaine debt of $400,000.
The judge also sentenced two other men involved in the case, 33-year-old Jesus Medina-Meraz of Sheridan, CO and alleged hit man 30-year-old Franklin Sierra-Rodriguez. Both pleaded guilty to murder conspiracy. Rodriguez was sentenced to 40 years in prison, Meraz to 32 years behind bars.
According to Barbara McQuade, Detroit U.S. Attorney, Amaya received large shipments of cocaine from Colorado. McQuade alleged that Amaya hired Sierra-Rodriguez to kill the Littleton, CO supplier Joaquin Lucero-Carrillo in his apartment in June of 2010.
News reports claim that at the time of the shooting, several witnesses were present. Colorado detectives were led to the metro Detroit area after investigations began, where Amaya’s drug dealings were being investigated by the U.S. DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). The two agencies then worked in unison to piece together evidence and identify additional suspects. Investigations ultimately revealed that Sierra-Rodriguez had been hired by Amaya and his co-conspirator Medina-Meraz to kill the victim in order to wipe out the $400,000 cocaine debt.
Three other individuals pleaded guilty for their involvement in the murder-for-hire plot, and are awaiting sentencing. The three men were identified in news reports as 24-year-old Jose Alejandro Villalon-Espinoza of Pontiac, 27-year-old Rafael Maravillas, also of Pontiac, and 25-year-old Franklin Baquedano of Waterford.
When an individual is sentenced to life behind bars, his or her life is essentially over. Even being sentenced to many years in prison affects your future, career, relationships – every aspect of your life. A seasoned Michigan murder defense attorney will work aggressively to protect the legal rights and freedom of his client.
If you have been arrested for murder or conspiring to commit murder, consult with a capable Michigan criminal defense lawyer immediately. Skilled defense attorneys know there are possible defense strategies for every situation, regardless of how hopeless the circumstances may seem.