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Press Release

Highland Heights man indicted for alleged murder-for-hire plot

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

A grand jury indicted a Highland Heights man for charges related to a murder-for-hire plot, said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Cleveland office.

James A. Martino, 65, was indicted on one count of use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire and one count of financing extortionate extensions of credit.

The indictment alleges that between January and June 2013, Martino and another individual conspired to use interstate-commerce facilities with the intent that a murder be committed in exchange for a promise to pay approximately $40,000.  It further alleges that Martino advanced approximately $5,000 to another individual for the purposes of making extortionate extensions of credit between November 2014 and January 2015.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases the sentence will be less than the maximum.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Duncan T. Brown and M. Kendra Klump following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cleveland Division.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated January 8, 2016