Charged with second degree murder, robbery, drug and weapons possession charges and conspiracy to distribute narcotics
(Long Island, NY) An Oakdale man charged with murder, robbery and dealing heroin pleaded guilty this afternoon in the third week of his trial in Suffolk County Criminal court in Riverhead.
Gilberto “Macho” Rivera, 27, of Oakdale pleaded guilty to the entire 14-count indictment charging him with murder in the second degree, robbery, drug and weapons possession charges and conspiracy to distribute narcotics, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said.
Rivera lured the homicide victim, Luis Maldonado, 27, to a secluded area off the Long Island Expressway on Aug. 15, 2008 where he shot him in the head and stomach and set fire to the victim’s SUV by igniting a propane tank in the vehicle.
Rivera has been incarcerated in the county jail since March of 2009 when he was arrested for trafficking large amounts of heroin from Elmhurst, Queens to western Suffolk County. He was taken into custody after completing a drug transaction in the parking lot of the Islandia Marriott Hotel. Inside his car, heroin task force detectives recovered $25,000 in cash and 5,000 packets of heroin packaged for street sales. District Attorney Spota said investigators estimate Rivera moved 10,000 “decks”, or approximately two kilos of heroin, every ten days into Suffolk County for distribution.
During the course of the investigation, district attorney squad detectives and state police investigators seized approximately three kilos of heroin, 350 grams of cocaine, large quantities of oxycodone pills and more than 50 guns including 13 handguns. Also seized were packaging materials, scales, grinders and stamps that the heroin ring used to label their product with the names “Ace of Spades”, “Underdog” and “Stop Snitching”,” Spota said.
Justice Mark Cohen made a sentencing promise to the defendant of 25 years to life when Rivera is sentenced on July 19.