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Press Release

Two Charged with Conspiring to Commit Murders for Hire

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendants allegedly conspired to murder federal witness and local rivals

BOSTON –  Two men have been charged with allegedly conspiring to murder a witness in a federal trial as well as rivals. One defendant also allegedly discussed the murder of federal prosecutors.

Elijah Melton, 26, of Middleborough, and Kareem Pires, 25, of Wareham, have been charged with one count each of conspiring to commit murder for hire. Pires was arrested this morning and will appear in federal court in Boston at 2 p.m. this afternoon. Melton is currently in federal custody and will appear at a later date.

In December 2023, Melton was arrested and charged in a two-count federal indictment of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and the distribution of 400 grams or more of fentanyl. Melton was released by the Court on conditions. In February 2024, Melton was arrested for allegedly violating his pre-trial release conditions. Melton was ordered detained pending trial and has remained in federal custody since.  

According to the charging documents, a cooperating witness told federal authorities that Melton had allegedly solicited him to murder a person (Target Witness) that Melton believed to be cooperating in Melton’s federal drug case. Melton allegedly told the cooperating witness that members of his gang had placed a “bounty” on the Target Witness and provided the cooperating witness with information about the Target Witness, including the city in which he resided, the car he drove, and details about distinctive jewelry he wore. Melton allegedly offered to arrange for a juvenile family member to deliver $75,000 to a family member of the cooperating witness. The cooperating witness informed federal authorities that he refused the money at that time.  
Melton allegedly further asked the cooperating witness to murder two other individuals that were “beefing” with Melton’s crew (Target Rival #1 and Target Rival #2). Melton allegedly provided the cooperating witness with information to identify the Target Rivals and the Target Witness. Melton also allegedly told the cooperating witness that he wanted two federal prosecutors murdered, provided the cooperating witness with certain information about the prosecutors and indicated that he would provide the money to murder the prosecutors personally.

According to the charging documents, Melton told the cooperating witness that Pires, who was not detained, could help identify the targets and locations where the targets might be found. It is alleged that Melton expected the cooperating witness to be released from prison soon thereafter and provided the cooperating witness with both a letter for Pires and the phone number for Melton’s juvenile family member. Federal authorities reviewed the letter Melton provided the cooperating witness, which allegedly included information, among other things, information concerning the plan to murder the Target Rivals. Prior to the cooperating witness’s release from custody, Melton allegedly provided him with a second letter to be delivered to Pires. Federal authorities reviewed the letter, which allegedly referenced the Target Rivals. 

According to court documents, upon his release from custody in April 2024, the cooperating witness arranged to meet with Pires. They met in a public location, where the cooperating witness delivered the second letter to Pires, who allegedly agreed to assemble information, including pictures, about the Target Witness and the Target Rivals for the cooperating witness. 

The charge of conspiracy to commit murder for hire provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes that govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; Brian Kyes, U.S. Marshal for the District of Massachusetts; and Warden Michael Nessinger of the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anne Paruti and Mark Grady, Chief and Deputy Chief, respectively, of the Major Crimes Unit are prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging document are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated May 21, 2024

Violent Crime