A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:
Chicago Man Sentenced to More Than 17 Years in Prison for Plotting to Kill Two Potential Witnesses in His Son’s Murder Trial
CHICAGO — A Chicago father who offered to hire a hit man to execute two potential witnesses in his son’s murder trial was sentenced today to 17 and a half years in federal prison.
EURIPIDES CAGUANA,, 61, sought the killings of two men he believed would testify against his son in his upcoming murder trial. Caguana paid $500 to an undercover individual to purchase a gun, and he offered the individual up to $7,500 to have the two witnesses killed.
A jury in May convicted Caguana on four counts of murder for hire. U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin imposed the 210-month sentence in federal court in Chicago.
“The defendant’s conduct strikes at the heart of the criminal justice system,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter S. Salib argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “Without witnesses, criminal cases can never be judged on the merits of the evidence.”
Caguana’s son, Travis Caguana, is charged with murder in the Circuit Court of Cook County in connection with a fatal drive-by shooting of a man on June 8, 2011.
In October 2013, a cooperating individual notified law enforcement that Euripides Caguana had called him seeking to have two men killed to prevent them from testifying against Travis Caguana.
Over the course of a few days, the cooperating individual and an undercover police officer – posing as a hit man – engaged in a series of secretly recorded meetings and conversations with Euripides Caguana.
During one of the meetings, Euripides Caguana provided the cooperating individual with $500 to purchase a gun, and he offered to pay up to $7,500 to have the two potential witnesses killed. He is heard on a recording telling the individual, “I want both of them, both of them.”
Caguana was arrested on Oct. 17, 2013, and the murders for hire were never carried out.
A trial date in the state murder case against Travis Caguana has not yet been set.
The sentence was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy.
The government is represented by Mr. Salib and Assistant U.S. Attorney Derek Owens.