3 plead not guilty in Calif. murder-for-hire plot
SAN DIEGO – Three men accused of plotting to murder a Southern California couple in what a prosecutor called "another glaring example of cross-border violence" have pleaded not guilty in San Diego.
Prosecutors said Tuesday that 28-year-old Jorge Sillas, 29-year-old Victor Gonzalez, and 34-year-old Danny Cepallo (seh-PIE'-yo) were working on the orders of the Arellano Felix cartel, one of Mexico's oldest and once most powerful drug trafficking organizations.
Sillas' older brother, 33-year-old Juan Sillas, is one of Tijuana's most feared hitmen. He has not been charged but the complaint said he offered to pay an assassin $50,000 for the killings.
A San Diego Superior Court judge set bail at $1 million each, and scheduled a hearing for March 17.
If convicted, the men face up to life in prison.