Federal Charge: For $10,000, Murder Would Look Like Robbery
KANSAS CITY, KAN. – Two Kansas City, Kan., men have been charged in federal court here with offering to kill a man for $10,000 and make it look like robbery, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.
Miguel A. Pizarro, 20, and Brian Pizarro, 19, both of Kansas City, Kan., are charged with traveling from Kansas to Missouri for the purpose of carrying out a contract killing.
According to an affidavit by a member of an Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives task force, the Pizarro brothers planned to shoot the victim from a distance with an AR-15 rifle and then steal the victim’s billfold. The murder never happened because what the defendants did not know is they were dealing with an undercover sting operation carried out by federal agents and a detective from the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department who was assigned to an ATF task force.
“These allegations are deeply disturbing,” U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said. “The price of a man’s life is set at $10,000. A would-be hitman offers a description of a previous killing as his credentials for the job. The defendants don’t even ask why the victim is to be killed.”
James Ferguson, Acting Special Agent in Charge, ATF Kansas City Field Division, said: “This case embodies ATF’s core mission of holding armed, violent criminals accountable for their actions. Investigations such as this one are making our communities safer places to live, work and play.”
In documents filed in federal court, prosecutors allege the investigation began in Kansas City, Kan., in June 2020 with a series of meetings arranged by the Pizarro brothers during which undercover investigators were able to buy guns, including a .40-caliber Glock pistol, a Smith and Wesson .45-caliber pistol, an HS Produkt .45-caliber pistol and a Glock 9 mm pistol. During one of the transactions, Miguel Pizarro said one of the guns he was selling was “dirty.” In subsequent meetings with an undercover agent, the Pizarro brothers admitted their involvement in two separate Kansas City, Kansas homicides.
The ATF conducted ballistic testing and matched shell casings from a homicide with one of the guns they bought from the Pizarros.
During a subsequent conversation, the undercover agent asked Miguel Pizarro if he had someone he trusted for a possible job. Pizarro said he trusted his brother. Brian Pizarro was known to police in Kansas City, Kan., as an F-13 gang member. The ATF undercover told both Pizarros that he needed someone to perform an execution and make it look like a robbery. The Pizarros said they were the ones for the job.
The undercover agent told the Pizarros that the murder was to be carried out in Springfield, Mo. The Pizarros said they would charge $10,000 for the two of them to do the killing, or $15,000 if they had to bring along a third person.
On Nov. 4, 2020, the undercover officer met in his car with the Pizarros. He gave Brian Pizarro $800 as a down payment. The Pizarros said they would drive a stolen to car to Springfield and would expect the rest of the payment after the murder.
On Nov. 9, 2020, the Pizarro brothers were arrested in Springfield after arriving there armed to carry out the murder.
If convicted, the defendants could face up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. The Kansas City, Kan., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Trent Krug is prosecuting.
In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.