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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Florida Man Charged with Scranton Murder-for-Hire Scheme


The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a 63-year-old Florida resident was indicted today by a federal grand jury in Scranton on charges of conspiracy to use a facility of interstate commerce to commit a murder-for-hire; solicitation to commit a crime of violence; and possessing and carrying a firearm in connection to a crime of violence.

According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, the grand jury alleges that Edward McLaughlin, a resident of Cape Coral, Florida, conspired with another person to kill McLaughlin’s ex-wife in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The indictment alleges that McLaughlin in 2011 and 2012 solicited another person to kill his ex-wife and shipped a Mauser rifle from Florida to Scranton, Pennsylvania, to a co-conspirator to use to commit the murder. The indictment alleges that McLaughlin communicated with his co-conspirator by letters and telephone calls.

The charges against McLaughlin resulted from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Scranton Police Department. McLaughlin was apprehended by federal agents in Cape Coral, Florida, on June 21, 2012.

McLaughlin faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and up to life in prison if he is convicted of using a firearm in connection to a crime of violence; up to 20 years in prison if convicted of solicitation to commit murder; and up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the murder-for-hire scheme.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa.

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An indictment and criminal information is not evidence of guilt but simply a description of the charge made by the United States Attorney against a defendant. A charged defendant is presumed innocent until a jury returns a unanimous finding that the United States has proved the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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