A SAVAGE thug known as the Godfather of Manhattan’s Diamond District used beatings, hijacking and kidnapping to control the Big Apple’s gem merchants — but now hell-spawn Hector Rivera will die in prison for masterminding the sidewalk slaughter of jeweler Eduard Nektalov.

Following a six-day trial in federal court late last month, a jury found the 65-year-old Vietnam vet guilty of paying two thugs $30,000 to gun down wealthy, Bentley-driving Nektalov in broad daylight on a bustling Midtown Manhattan street in 2004.

Incredibly, the crafty creep got away with the outrageous murder for more than a decade by making it look like Nektalov, who’d been indicted for money-laundering drug cartel gold, was being silenced before he could rat out Colombian cocaine kings.

Get the latest issue of GLOBE to read this story and many more!