Tarrant County Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison in Murder-for-Hire Case
Ryan Walker Grant Operated Sexually-Oriented Business in Arlington, Texas
FORT WORTH, Texas — Ryan Walker Grant, 34, Kennedale, Texas, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Terry Means to 120 months in federal prison following his guilty plea in September 2012 to one count of murder-for-hire, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Grant has been in custody since his arrest on April 9, 2012, on a related charge outlined in a criminal complaint filed the previous day.
Grant is a co-owner of Flashdancer, a sexually-oriented business in Arlington, Texas, that had been the subject of a nuisance lawsuit filed by the Texas Attorney General’s Office and the City of Arlington, which resulted in the club’s closing. According to the criminal complaint filed in the case and testimony at Grant’s preliminary and detention hearing, Grant tried to hire individuals from Mexico, through an intermediary, to kill Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck and Tom Brandt, a Dallas attorney who represents the City of Arlington in cases involving sexually-oriented businesses. Grant was angry at the men because he felt that they were costing him money by trying to prevent him from re-opening Flashdancer.
On April 3, 2012, according to the factual resume filed in the case, Grant sent a text message from his cell phone to a confidential informant (CI) requesting a return call. When the CI called Grant, Grant requested a personal meeting with him and discussed, using coded language, Grant’s desire that a murder be committed. The CI traveled to Grant’s home in Kennedale where Grant provided the CI with pictures of two individuals, Robert Cluck and Tom Brandt, whom he wanted killed. Grant asked if the CI was able to direct individuals from Mexico to travel to the U.S. and murder them. Grant offered to pay $10,000 per victim.
Shortly thereafter, when law enforcement executed a search warrant at Grant’s residence, they seized 22 firearms and nearly $150,000 in cash.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Wolfe prosecuted.
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