A New Jersey man tried to hire a hitman to kill a 13-year-old Texas girl, according to federal prosecutors.
A Newark, NJ man was indicted for his role in a murder-for-hire scheme to kill a female minor, U.S. Attorney Phillip R. Sellinger announced Tuesday, August 16.
Armando Conceicao, 57, was charged in a two-count indictment with conspiracy to commit murder for hire and hiring another individual to travel interstate with the intent of committing murder for hire.
According to the indictment, in May 2021, Conceicao communicated with another individual for the purpose of killing or locating another person to kill the victim.
Conceicao met with this ‘murder-for-hire’ individual around May 2021 and provided the victim’s address in San Antonio, Texas, a photograph of the victim, and a sum of cash so that the ‘murder-for-hire’ individual could conduct reconnaissance at the victim’s residence.
The murder-for-hire individual drove from New Jersey to Texas and photographed the victim’s residence, a car belonging to the victim’s father, and the surrounding area.
Law enforcement would later conduct a “lawful search of [the murder-for-hire individual’s] phone” and find those reconnaissance pictures taken from around the victim’s house.
Then in November 2021, Conceicao met with the same murder-for-hire individual to further discuss the plan to kill the 13-year-old Texas victim. This time the individual, “equipped with an audio and/or video recording device,” told Conceicao he “knows a guy” who is “cheap, he’s charging 15 bucks, 10 bucks, problem solved.”
Conceicao then instructed the murder-for-hire individual to proceed with the scheme to murder the 13-year-old female victim. The two men also discussed whether the girl’s family should be killed, according to court documents.
“As long as the girl is eliminated the rest does not matter,” Conceicao said, this conversation taking place in Portuguese, according to officials.
The announcement of Conceicao’s arrest and charges did not specify Conceicao’s motive for the murder-for-hire, nor does it detail what happened after Conceicao ordered the murder-for-hire scheme into action. However, a spokesperson from the U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed the 13-year-old minor was not killed.
A murder-for-hire charge is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Conceicao is represented by his attorney Lorraine Gauli-Rufo.