Portales Man Pleads Guilty to Using Telephone in Attempt to Commission a Murder-for-Hire
ALBUQUERQUE—Cody Guss, 37, of Portales, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to an indictment charging him with using a telephone in interstate commerce to commission a murder-for-hire. Guss entered his guilty plea without the benefit of a plea agreement.
Guss was arrested on March 27, 2014, on a criminal complaint charging him with using a cellular telephone in interstate commerce to commission a murder-for-hire. He was indicted on that same charge in April 2014. According to the indictment, on March 26, 2014, Guss used a telephone to negotiate the commission of a murder in exchange for $5,000.00. The offense was committed in Curry County, N.M.
According to court filings, between Feb. 27, 2014 and March 26, 2014, Curry had telephone communications with an undercover officer of the Amarillo (Texas) Police Department during which he contracted for the officer to murder his wife. The communications occurred while Guss was in New Mexico and the officer was in Texas. On March 26, 2014, Guss met with the officer in Clovis, N.M., to finalize plans for the murder. During the meeting, Guss gave the officer a key to his residence and made arrangements for the officer to enter the residence while his wife was alone in the residence.
During this morning’s proceedings, Guss entered a guilty plea to the indictment. Guss has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. He faces a statutory maximum penalty of ten years in prison.
This case was investigated by the Roswell office of the FBI with assistance from the Amarillo (Texas) Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul Mysliwiec and Norman Cairns.