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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dubuque Woman Sentenced For Trying To Hire Someone To Commit Murder

A woman who used Craigslist to try to hire someone to commit murder was sentenced on February 5, 2014, to more than seven years in federal prison.

Megan Schmidt, 23, from Dubuque, Iowa, received the prison term after a November 20, 2013, guilty plea to one count of using interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder for hire. 

In a plea agreement, Schmidt admitted that two advertisements were posted on the website “Craigslist” from her Apple iPhone, soliciting for someone to do a “one time job.”  In response to the advertisements, multiple individuals contacted defendant by email, including an individual also from Dubuque.  During an exchange of emails between Schmidt and this individual, Schmidt stated that she wanted a man killed.  Eventually, using her cell phone, Schmidt called and spoke to a man in she thought was the individual she had emailed.  However, Schmidt was actually talking to an undercover deputy from the Dubuque County Sheriff’s office.  During this phone call, Schmidt agreed to pay $10,000 to have a man killed.  The undercover deputy then arranged to meet Schmidt at a location in Dubuque in order to see a picture of the man Schmidt wanted killed.  Following this meeting, Schmidt was arrested.

Schmidt was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade.  Schmidt was sentenced to 87 months’ imprisonment.  A special assessment of $100 was imposed.  Schmidt must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Morfitt and was investigated by the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office and the Dubuque Police Department. 

Court file information is available at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov.  The case file number is 13-CR-1013.

Updated February 19, 2015