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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of North Carolina

Monday, June 4, 2018

Matthews, N.C. Man Is Arrested In Murder-For-Hire Plot

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A Matthews, N.C. man was arrested on Friday, June 1, 2018, for attempting to hire a hitman via the internet to murder a Charlotte area resident, announced R. Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.  Bryant Riyanto Budi, 26, appeared in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge David C. Keesler.

John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division and Nick S. Annan, Special Agent in Charge of ICE/Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Georgia and the Carolinas join U.S. Attorney Murray in making today’s announcement.

According to allegations in the filed Complaint, in April and May 2018, Budi contacted an HSI undercover agent (UCA) located in Buffalo, New York via the internet to conduct a murder-for-hire.  The Complaint alleges that Budi used online usernames, encrypted messaging platforms, and encrypted email services to disguise his true identity from the undercover agent. During the course of communications between Budi and the UCA, Budi hired the UCA to murder an individual who resides in the Charlotte area, identified in the Complaint as “C.S.”

The complaint further alleges that separately, in April and May 2018, Budi also contacted an FBI online covert employee (OCE) via the internet to purchase a lethal dose of a radioactive substance.  In his communications with the OCE, Budi expressed his intent to use the radioactive substance to kill an unnamed individual.  Budi also instructed the FBI OCE to ship the radioactive substance to an address in Charlotte.  The Complaint alleges that on May 22, 2018, the OCE advised Budi a package containing the radioactive substance was shipped.  On May 31, 2018, the package containing an inert substitute for the radioactive material ordered by Budi was delivered to an address in Charlotte as instructed by Budi.  On June 1, 2018, at approximately 11:15 p.m., Budi was arrested.

Budi is charged with one count of using interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for hire, which carries a maximum prison term of 10 years.

The charges contained in the complaint are allegations.  The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law.

In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney Murray praised the outstanding work of HSI in Buffalo, New York and Charlotte; the FBI in Charlotte and supporting FBI field offices; the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate in Washington, D.C.; the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York, and the Department of Justice’s National Security Division.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Casey Arrowood of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte is in charge of the prosecution, assisted by Trial Attorney Bridget Behling, of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

Updated June 7, 2018