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Press Release

Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Sentenced to More Than 21 Years for Murder-for-Hire Plot against Assistant United States Attorney

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina---- Acting United States Attorney M. Rhett DeHart announced today that Richard Gilbert, a Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) inmate, has been sentenced to more than 21 years in federal prison for a murder-for-hire and retaliation plot against an Assistant United States Attorney and a confidential informant.

Evidence presented in the court showed that Gilbert was serving time at a federal prison in Edgefield for trafficking methamphetamine in Bowling Green, Kentucky, when he sought to hire a hitman to kill the federal prosecutor and a key witness from his Kentucky case.  Using a contraband cell phone in prison, Gilbert communicated with an undercover task force officer with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who was posing as a hitman.  Following multiple recorded phone calls, Gilbert sent the undercover officer a $2,000 check from his prison canteen account as a down payment for the retaliatory murder-for-hire.  Masking the true purpose of this payment, Gilbert attempted to mislead BOP officials by misrepresenting the payment as being for an “investment firm.”

Evidence presented also showed that Gilbert drew maps of where he believed the witness from Kentucky lived and provided directions to the undercover officer, posing as the hitman, on how to avoid detection by nearby surveillance cameras.  The evidence also showed how Gilbert planned to use income from two of his rental properties to facilitate the attempted murder-for-hire and retaliation plot.  He also planned to use the value of his ownership stake in other land to pay for the murder of the federal prosecutor from Kentucky. 

United States District Judge Henry M. Herlong, Jr. sentenced Gilbert to serve 262 months in federal prison, consecutive to the 130-month sentence for which he was already in federal prison, to be followed by 60 months of supervised release.  There is no parole in the federal system.     

The case was investigated by the FBI and the BOP Special Investigative Services Team and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Justin Holloway and Will Jordan.



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Updated August 10, 2021