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MARCH 9, 2011

Boston, Mass...A Lawrence man was arrested today and charged in U.S. District Court with Use of Interstate Commerce Facilities in the Commission of Murder-For-Hire.

JONATHAN DIAZ, a/k/a “Tony,” age 27, of Lawrence was charged in a criminal complaint, alleging that, in February and March 2011, he solicited two individuals to murder a Lawrence man whom Diaz claimed had stolen drugs from Diaz’s drug supplier. It is alleged that, unbeknownst to Diaz, the two individuals whom he solicited to commit the murder were FBI cooperating witnesses (“CWs”).

The affidavit alleges that the CWs had meetings with Diaz that were recorded on audio and videotape, in which Diaz told the CWs that he would pay them for the murder by giving them heroin and cocaine that they could then sell for approximately $3,000. Diaz allegedly said he would supply them with a gun to shoot the victim, and that they should shoot the victim in the face. The affidavit further alleges that, on three occasions, during recorded meetings, Diaz supplied the CWs with small amounts of cocaine and heroin in connection with the murder-for-hire plot. Diaz and the CWs also allegeldy engaged in several consensually recorded cell phone calls to arrange the murder.

It is alleged that on the evening of March 8, 2011, the two CWs had a recorded meeting with Diaz, in which Diaz gave them a .38 caliber revolver loaded with five rounds to kill the victim. According to the affidavit, Diaz and a woman he was with, were arrested shortly thereafter following a brief car pursuit.

If convicted, Diaz faces up to 10 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised released and a $250,000 fine. A detention hearing is set for March 16, 2011 at 11:30 a.m.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Office, Colonel Marian McGovern, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, Chief John J. Romero of the Lawrence Police Department, Chief Joseph Solomon of the Methuen Police Department, Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian of Middlesex County and Sheriff Frank G. Cousins, Jr. of Essex County made the announcement today.

The details contained in the complaint affidavit are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


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