Manhattan drug dealer pleads guilty to 2011 murder of Bronx rival

Police car with alarm and signal light flashes on the roof rush emergency call in New York City
A Bronx woman got busted with 25 ounces of cocaine in her daughter’s diaper bag.
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A Manhattan drug dealer faces life in prison after copping to the 2011 murder of a rival Bronx drug dealer.

On July 11, Michael Castillo, 38, a.k.a. “Squirrel,” pleaded guilty in connection with the March 10, 2011, murder of Hector Arias in the Bronx.

“Today, Michael Castillo admitted that he shot and killed Hector Arias in 2011,” said U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss. “This guilty plea shows that law enforcement will relentlessly seek justice for murder victims and their loved ones, regardless of the passage of time.”

According to the allegations, Castillo was a member of a conspiracy to distribute marijuana centered near 193rd Street and Broadway in Manhattan. Castillo was allegedly 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 outside Arias’ home at 712 E. Gun Hill Road.

Castillo is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 15.


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