SAN DIEGO (CNS) - One of three men who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a foiled murder-for-hire plan to kill two people in 2011 on orders from the Arellano Felix drug cartel was sentenced Friday to five years in state prison.
Danny Cepallo, 36, pleaded guilty in June to solicitation of murder and admitted to a gang allegation. He was sentenced by San Diego Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Fraser.
Co-defendants Jorge Sillas, 30, and Victor Gonzalez, 31, pleaded guilty to two attempted murder counts and admitted a gang allegation. They face between 15 years and 24 years, eight months in prison when they are sentenced Sept. 20.
Prosecutor Mark Amador said the plot to kill a mother and son was thwarted by law enforcement. The intended victims owed the cartel money from drug sales, according to authorities.
When Sillas and Gonzalez were arrested at a Palmdale home in February 2011, agents seized two AR-15 assault rifles, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition and an estimated $20,000 in cash.
The plot to kill the victims was formulated in San Diego County, Amador said. According to a criminal complaint, Sillas contacted a confidential informant on Feb. 5, 2011, and ordered him to make the murders happen the next day, killing everyone except a disabled girl.
In 2011 between Feb. 6 and Feb. 8, a confidential informant told Gonzalez that the intended victims had not been seen at home all week. Sillas and the informant later talked about finding the intended victims, and Sillas told Gonzalez he would send someone to find the two, according to the complaint.
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