U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Massachusetts
(617) 748-3100
October 9, 2015

Everett Man Arrested for Murder-for-Hire Plot

BOSTON—An Everett man was arrested today in Boston in connection with federal murder-for-hire charges.

Joseph Burke, 51, was charged in a criminal complaint today with interstate travel and use of facilities of interstate commerce in commission of murder-for-hire. Burke was detained pending a detention hearing before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy on Oct. 21, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

According to the complaint, Burke and an undercover federal agent had numerous recorded telephone conversations and meetings in which Burke agreed to kill an associate of the undercover agent in exchange for money. Among other things, the complaint alleges that Burke told the undercover agent that he obtained two guns in connection with the plot, a Glock .40 caliber handgun and a Skorpion submachine gun. Furthermore, Burke asked the undercover agent to get him two masks from a specific company that he would use when committing the murder.

Today, law enforcement officers also executed search warrants at two residences in Everett and on a black Nissan Altima registered to Burke.

The charging statute provides a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; David W. Hall, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Boston Field Office; Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy E. Moran and John Capin of Ortiz’s Office.

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

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