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Man sentenced for hiring anti-drug journalist’s killer

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Man sentenced for hiring anti-drug journalist's killer06/16/95 NEW YORK--A drug dealer was sentenced in late May to 18 years in…


NEW YORK–A drug dealer was sentenced in late May to 18 years in prison for hiring a hit man to kill a New York journalist for his writings about a Colombian drug cartel.

Elkin Farley Salazar, 26, could have faced up to life in prison for the murder of Manuel de Dios Unanue at a restaurant in Queens in 1992 if he had not cooperated with prosecutors.

Both Salazar and his partner, Jos‚ James Benitez, received 18-year sentences in return for testimony that helped convict Wilson Alejandro Mej¡a-Velez for pulling the trigger. Mej¡a-Velez was sentenced last year to life in prison without possibility of parole.

De Dios was a former editor-in-chief of a New York Spanish-language newspaper, El Diario-La Prensa. At the time he was killed, de Dios was publishing two magazine commentaries and working on a book about the Cali drug cartel. Prosecutors have said that his murder was ordered by Jos‚ Santacruz Londono, a Cali kingpin still in Colombia, according to the Associated Press. (New York v. Salazar)

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