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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 22, 2016

Kenmore Woman Sentenced On Gun Charge

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.-Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Lauren Frey, 57, of Kenmore, NY, who pleaded guilty to being a felon-in-possession of a firearm, was sentenced to time served (19 months) by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi, who is handling the case, stated that on May 26, 2015, the Kenmore Police Department received a tip about an alleged murder for hire plan. On May 27, 2015, Kenmore Police, with the assistance of the East Aurora Police Department, identified the victims and made them aware of the potential murder-for-hire plot. The victims included the ex-husband and his current wife of Frey’s co-defendant Deborah Arno.

On May 28, 2015, a search warrant was executed at Frey’s who was solicited by Arno to carry out the murders. Officers seized a number of items including multiple letters from Arno to Frye, photos of the intended victims, a diagram of their residence and a schedule of their activities. In one letter written by Arno to Frye, Arno stated “I am enclosing $6000. I will give you an additional $14,000 upon completion. A total of $20,000. A man, his description and address enclosed, is to be eliminated or hurt. He lives with 2 other people. Both expendable (if there is an accident).”

During the search of Frye’s residence, officers also seized two cellular telephones and three shotguns. The cellular telephones revealed extensive text messaging between Arno and Frye. Arno repeatedly implored Frye to get the murder done. In a series of text messages exchanged on May 24, 2015, Arno, using cryptic texts, inquired as to when Frye’s “friends” were going to commit the murder. Frye responded: “There suppose to get a hold of me today I want it done no bullshit.”  Arno, using the nickname “Chickie,” responded: “Last day before everything changes! I need it done or else I am going to talk to them myself.”  Frye responded: “That’s fine I told them today was the deadline or its gonna get harder.”  Arno responded: “What is the big deal! 8 MONTHS! Today!  Do it yourself I don’t give a (expletive).”

Deborah Arno was convicted and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 8, 2017.

Today’s sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Village of Kenmore Police Department, under the direction of Chief Peter Breitnauer, the East Aurora Police Department, under the direction of Chief Ronald Krowka, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Adam S. Cohen.

Updated December 23, 2016