Rikers Inmate Tried to Hire Hitman to Kill Half Brother

NEW YORK- An inmate on Rikers Island was charged with trying to hire a hitman to murder his half brother. 

ANTHONY TEJADA, a/k/a “YM,” an inmate at the Rikers Island correctional facility, was arrested for attempting to hire a hitman to murder his family member. 

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “As alleged, while incarcerated at Rikers Island, Anthony Tejada attempted to hire a hitman to murder his half-brother. Now, thanks to the dedicated work of our law enforcement partners, Tejada’s alleged plan has been foiled, he faces federal charges, and his intended victim is safe.”

ATF Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito said: “As alleged, Tejada’s actions could have resulted in serious bodily harm and or the death of an innocent individual.  Thanks to the efforts of the ATF/ NYPD Joint Robbery Task Force and our partners in the Department of Correction, a crime of violence was averted. 

ATF stands with its law enforcement partners’ commitment to ridding the streets of individuals seeking to spread violence in their community. I would like to thank the United States Attorney’s Office for its leadership and guidance throughout this investigation.”

NYC Department of Correction Commissioner Cynthia Brann said:  “This investigation and the resulting arrest, yet again sends a very clear message to those in DOC custody. You will be prosecuted if you commit crimes in custody, and if convicted you will face prison time. I am proud of our Correction Intelligence Bureau’s steadfast commitment to keeping our officers, those in our custody, and the people of New York City safe.  And I want to thank our fellow law enforcement partners for working to help bring this individual to justice.”

According to the allegations in the Complaint filed in Manhattan federal court:

On October 1, 2018, TEJADA was arrested and charged in New York State court with the attempted murder of TEJADA’s half-brother (“Victim-1”).  TEJADA was detained at the Rikers Island correctional facility. 

While an inmate at Rikers, TEJADA hired an individual he believed to be a hitman to murder Victim-1. In fact, the person he hired to commit this murder was an undercover ATF agent.  

TEJADA had multiple recorded conversations with the undercover agent, both over the phone and in person, in which TEJADA discussed the intended murder, and TEJADA agreed to pay the undercover agent $5,000 to commit the murder.

TEJADA, 19, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with one count of murder-for-hire, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and one count of solicitation to commit a crime of violence, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. 

The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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