Sunday, July 22, 2012

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Tarrant County Man in Murder-for-Hire Case

Ryan Walker Grant Operated Sexually Oriented Business in Arlington

FORT WORTH, TX—A federal grand jury in Fort Worth has indicted Ryan Walker Grant, 34, Kennedale, Texas, on one count of murder-for-hire and one count of the unlawful transfer of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

Grant has been in custody since his arrest on April 9, 2012, on a related charge outlined in a criminal complaint filed the previous day.

The indictment alleges that Grant plotted a murder-for-hire in early April 2012 and that in November 2011, Grant transferred a Norinco semi-automatic rifle to an individual, knowing that individual was a convicted felon.

Grant is a co-owner of Flashdancer, a sexually oriented business in Arlington, Texas, that had been the subject of a nuisance lawsuit filed by the Texas Attorney General’s Office and the city of Arlington, which resulted in the club’s closing. According to the criminal complaint filed in the case and testimony at Grant’s preliminary and detention hearing, Grant tried to hire individuals from Mexico, through an intermediary, to kill Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck and Tom Brandt, a Dallas attorney who represents the city of Arlington in cases involving sexually oriented businesses. Grant was angry at the men because he felt that they were costing him money by trying to prevent him from re-opening Flashdancer.

On April 3, 2012, Grant handed the intermediary, who was actually a confidential informant, photographs and contact information of the two individuals that he wanted killed. Grant offered to pay $10,000 per murder victim, for a total of $20,000, upon completion of the murders. During the next few days, Grant and the intermediary spoke via cell phones, and during those conversations, Grant directed the intermediary to not proceed with the murders until they could meet to discuss the matter further. On April 9, 2012, the intermediary and Grant met at Grant’s residence, where Grant confirmed that he wanted Mayor Cluck killed. The intermediary left Grant’s residence, and Grant was arrested shortly thereafter. Law enforcement executed a search warrant at Grant’s residence at that time and seized 22 firearms and nearly $150,000 in cash.

An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury, and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. However, if convicted, each count of the indictment carries a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The investigation is being conducted by the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Wolfe is in charge of the prosecution.

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