FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. – A Bergen County, N.J., woman appeared in federal court today after her arrest last night for allegedly trying to hire a hitman to kill a romantic rival, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Nicole Faccenda, 42, of Lyndhurst, was charged by Complaint with offering to pay someone to kill the woman for whom her estranged, long-time boyfriend had left her. She made her initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk in Newark federal court and was remanded.
According to the Complaint:
Faccenda had been in a long-term relationship with a man with whom she had a child; that relationship ended three months ago when the man began a relationship with another woman, with whom he also had a child. On Oct. 19, 2011, Faccenda contacted a person she knew and trusted in Florida and told this person she wanted help in finding someone to kill her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend. She told this acquaintance she had a black dress ready to wear to the intended victim’s funeral and would “spit on the casket.” The acquaintance contacted federal authorities and the next day spoke again with Faccenda – a conversation that was recorded by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The acquaintance told Faccenda he had found a person to do the murder. The acquaintance and an undercover ATF task force officer posing as a hitman then met with Faccenda in New Jersey to arrange the murder.
Faccenda agreed to pay the undercover hitman $5,000 in advance and $5,000 after the new girlfriend was killed. In a number of recorded conversations, Faccenda said she wanted the new girlfriend to be gone and her boyfriend to be miserable. She said she wanted the girlfriend shot in the head, that the boyfriend could be shot in the foot, and if something happened to the girlfriend’s children, “Oh, well, I’m sorry.”
On Oct. 24, Faccenda met with her acquaintance from Florida in a Secaucus gas station parking lot and gave him an envelope with $2,000 for the undercover agent/hitman. Over the next few hours, she provided information, including a name, photo, and license plate number of the intended victim. On Oct. 26, the friend called Faccenda and told her the victim had been shot in the head and it had been made to look like a robbery. Faccenda was arrested by ATF agents a short time later at her place of work.
“This was a cold and calculated plan to end the life of another person,” U.S. Attorney Fishman said. “It failed because of the actions of a private citizen, who immediately contacted authorities, and the diligence and hard work of federal investigators. Because of their quick action, a life was saved.”
“Murder for hire plots are heinous crimes that impact not only single families but entire communities as well,” Matthew W. Horace, ATF Special Agent in Charge, Newark Field Division, said. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the United States Attorney’s Office for their assistance with this investigation and also the men and women of ATF’s Newark and Tampa Field Divisions, who along with our task force partners, saved a life today. This is just another example of how ATF's crusade against violent crime directly impacted the safety and future of one NJ family. ATF is committed to protecting the public. Violent Crime is our priority.”
If convicted on the charge of using the mail and facilities of commerce with the intent that a murder be committed for payment, Faccenda faces a maximum prison term of 10 years and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the ATF under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Horace with the investigation that led to these charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Frazer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense Counsel: John J. Bruno Jr. Esq., Rutherford, N.J.