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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Scranton Man Sentenced To 35 Years In Prison For Murder-For-Hire Conspiracy And Related Crimes

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a 46-year-old Scranton man, who was convicted last August of participating in a murder-for-hire conspiracy and related crimes, was sentenced yesterday to 35 years in federal prison by Senior U.S. District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo.

     According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the defendant, Gary Williams, was convicted by a jury after a three-day trial in August 2013. Williams was convicted of conspiracy to commit a murder-for-hire, carrying and possessing a firearm in relation to and in furtherance of a crime of violence, receiving a firearm and ammunition in interstate commerce with the intent to commit a felony offense, unlawfully possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, and attempting to tamper with a witness.

     In imposing sentence, Judge Caputo remarked that Williams’ crime was one of the most serious offenses he has encountered in his courtroom, and noted that the 35-year sentence was necessary to protect the public and to deter others from committing similar crimes.

     Williams was originally indicted by a federal grand jury in August 2012, as a result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Scranton Police Department.  Williams was charged in a superseding indictment in April 2013. The indictment alleged that Williams agreed to kill the ex-wife of a co-conspirator, and that the co-conspirator shipped a rifle and bullets from Cape Coral, Florida to Scranton for Williams to use to commit the murder.  The indictment further alleged that the co-conspirator promised Williams money and a job for committing the murder.

      Williams’ co-defendant, Edward McLaughlin, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit a murder-for-hire, shipping a firearm in interstate commerce as a convicted felon, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. He is awaiting sentencing.  

     Judge Caputo also ordered Williams to serve three years on supervised release following his prison sentence, and to pay a special assessment of $500.

     Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa prosecuted the case.

Updated April 9, 2015