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CHICAGO — Two men have been indicted in federal court in an alleged murder-for-hire conspiracy that resulted in a fatal shooting in Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood.
ANTHONY MONTGOMERY-WILSON, 24, and PRESTON POWELL, 23, both of Chicago, are charged with conspiracy to use an interstate facility in the commission of a murder for hire, according to an indictment unsealed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The pair is also charged with an individual murder-for-hire count, while Montgomery-Wilson also faces a firearm charge.
According to the indictment and a search warrant filed in the case, Montgomery-Wilson and Powell conspired with each other and others to murder Stephon Mack in exchange for money. On the afternoon of Jan. 27, 2022, Mack, 24, was fatally wounded when two gunmen emerged from a vehicle and fired several shots as Mack exited the Youth Peace Center of Roseland in the 400 block of West 111th Street. A security guard from the Center was also wounded in the shooting but survived.
Montgomery-Wilson is in law enforcement custody. He pleaded not guilty Wednesday during his arraignment before Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Young B. Kim in Chicago. A status hearing for Montgomery-Wilson was scheduled for Jan. 16, 2024.
Powell is considered a fugitive and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.
The indictment was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI Chicago Field Office, and Larry Snelling, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. Valuable assistance was provided by the Illinois Department of Corrections Northern Region Intelligence Unit. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jared C. Jodrey, Jason A. Julien, and Brian F. Williamson.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The murder-for-hire charges each carry a mandatory sentence of life in federal prison, while a sentence of death is also possible. The firearm charge against Montgomery-Wilson is punishable by up to ten years. If convicted, the Court must impose reasonable sentences under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.