Granite City Man Pleads Guilty to Solicitation to Commit Crime of Violence
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 04, 2012|
A Granite City, Illinois man pled guilty today in federal district court in East St. Louis, Illinois, to the charge of solicitation of a crime of violence, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois Stephen R. Wigginton announced today.
Brett Nash, 46, pled guilty to an indictment that charged him with solicitation of a crime of violence. The crime of violence was the abduction, seizing, and confining a person, and holding that person in order to obtain money from him.
The charges arose from incidents occurring in late 2011 and January, 2012, in which Nash sought the help of his wife and another person in abducting a Granite City lawyer and obtaining money from him. A factual stipulation filed with the court states as follows:
1. In late 2011 and in January 2012, defendant and his wife, TN, were experiencing financial difficulties. Their Granite City, Illinois house was in jeopardy of foreclosure, and they needed over $30,000 to prevent foreclosure. Defendant was not regularly employed but found only occasional work through the Laborers’ Union in Granite City, Illinois.
2. During the last half of 2011, Defendant asked TN if she could obtain money from her friend, the “Intended Victim” referenced in the second superseding indictment. Defendant was aware that the Intended Victim had a romantic interest in TN, and defendant believed that he and TN could exploit that romantic interest. Initially, TN thought she could borrow some money from the Intended Victim or obtain some money from him as a gift. However, she came to believe that she could only obtain money from him if she became physically involved with him, which she refused to do.
3. For several months in late 2011 and in or about January 2012, defendant solicited and attempted to persuade TN to engage in conduct constituting a felony that has an element the use of physical force against the Intended Victim—that is, to unlawfully abduct, seize, and confine the Intended Victim, and hold him for the reason of obtaining money, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1201(a)(1), and Section 2.
4. Defendant’s intent that TN engage in conduct constituting said crime of violence is strongly corroborated by the following circumstances:
A. For several months in late 2011 and in January 2012, defendant solicited and endeavored to persuade TN to call the Intended Victim on her cellular telephone in order to lure the Intended Victim from his house so that defendant could then abduct the Intended Victim, take him back to his house, and hold him by force and against his will in order to obtain money from him. Defendant promised TN that he would use a portion of the money that he would obtain from the Intended Victim to pay down the mortgage on their house, which would benefit both defendant and TN; defendant also promised TN that he and TN would share the remainder of the money that they could obtain from the Intended Victim.
B. TN did not want to participate in defendant’s plans to obtain money illegally from the Intended Victim. But for several months in late 2011 and in January 2012, defendant, on several occasions, continued to solicit and endeavor to persuade TN to join him in his plans to abduct, seize, and confine the Intended Victim and hold him for the reason of obtaining money from him. During late 2011 and January 2012, defendant argued numerous times with TN about his above-described plans for the Intended Victim. Defendant insisted that TN must join him in these plans, and that she had no choice but to do so. In order to appease defendant, TN—at defendant’s direction—made numerous phone calls on her cellular telephone to the Intended Victim in December 2011 and in January 2012, pretending to be interested in developing a relationship with the Intended Victim; TN, however, had no intention of luring the Intended Victim from his house to aid defendant in his plans.
C. The arguments between defendant and TN became more and more heated as time progressed and on occasion led to physical violence by defendant against TN. In one such argument, defendant pulled out some of TN’s hair. Defendant told TN that he would plant her hair in the Intended Victim’s house to leave as DNA evidence at the scene of the crime. Defendant told her this in order both to assure her participation in defendant’s plans and to prevent her from telling the police of his plans for the Intended Victim.
D. On January 9, 2012, defendant sought as an accomplice the person identified in the second superseding indictment as the Confidential Witness (hereinafter, “CW”) to join defendant in defendant’s plans to abduct, seize, and confine the Intended Victim and hold him for purpose of obtaining money from him. The plans that defendant described to the CW were similar to the plans that defendant had discussed with TN—namely, defendant told the CW that TN would call the Intended Victim on her cellular telephone in order to lure him away from his home, at which point defendant and the CW would abduct and seize the Intended Victim, handcuff him, confine him, and hold him, all for the purpose of obtaining money from the Intended Victim. Defendant told the CW that he would divide evenly with the CW whatever money they could obtain from the Intended Victim.
E. Between January 9, 2012 and January 23, 2012, defendant used his cellular phone on several occasions to call the CW to make arrangements to meet and discuss Defendant’s plans to abduct, seize, and confine the Intended Victim and hold him for the purpose of obtaining money from him.
F. On January 23, 2012, defendant used his automobile to drive the CW by the home of the Intended Victim. Defendant then drove by and showed the CW the location of the Bank of Edwardsville, where defendant believed the Intended Victim may have held a bank account; said Bank was at the time insured by the FDIC and was engaged in interstate commerce.
G. Defendant told the CW that he intended to carry out his plan to abduct, seize, and confine the Intended Victim, and hold him for the purpose of obtaining money on January 23-24, 2012.
H. On January 23, 2012, law enforcement agents executed a search of defendant’s residence in Granite City, during which they found a diagram of the Intended Victim’s house, as well as a backpack that contained, among other things, the following items: a CO2 pistol identified as a Beeman .177 Cal. Airgun; and a black knit ski mask, handcuffs, black hair dye, a flashlight, and black socks and shirt.
5. All acts referenced herein occurred in Madison County, within the Southern District of Illinois.
The maximum penalties that can be imposed for a violation of the solicitation statute in this case are a maximum of 20 years in prison, a maximum $125,000 fine, or both, three years of supervised release following any prison term, and a $100 special assessment.
Sentencing is set for March 22, 2013.
The case was investigated by members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Illinois State Police, the Granite City Police Department, the Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois, and the Madison County Sheriff’s Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen B. Clark.