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Pueblo man sentenced in murder for hire plot

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Ricardo Estevan Suazo Ricardo Estevan Suazo
PUEBLO -

A Pueblo man has been sentenced to nine years in prison in a murder for hire plot. 27-year-old Ricardo Estevan Suazo was sentenced Friday July 14th in federal court. He was also ordered to serve three years supervised release.

Suazo and co-defendant, 29-year-old Reina Ashley Gonzales, were accused of conspiring with an undercover police officer to kill a witness in a separate case against Suazo. During the time frame of the murder-for-hire plot Suazo and Gonzales spoke in code while Suazo was in the Pueblo County Jail on charges related to shooting a man during a car jacking.

On at least two different occasions Suazo arranged to bond out jail inmates in exchange for the murder. Gonzales showed the undercover agent the Facebook account of the witness and his girlfriend as well as drew a map to his last known residence. Once the plot fell apart with the undercover agent, the pair tried yet again to get an inmate to commit the murder.

"To save his own skin, Suazo attempted to hire not one, not two, but several people to murder a victim he already attempted to kill during a violent crime. He didn't care about consequences to himself or his friend; he didn't care about anyone else who could be hurt; he didn't care about the victim or their loved ones," said ATF Special Agent in Charge Debora Livingston. "His selfish and remorseless behavior is disgusting. The world is better off with him behind bars where innocent people never have to interact with him."

Both were arrested and indicted by a grand jury on October 19, 2016.

"Attacking a witness is attacking the very heart of the justice system," said Acting U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer.  "We won't tolerate it.  Ever.  Pueblo has seen the best of Mr. Suazo for a good long time."  

Gonzales has already been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for her role in the crime.

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