Illinois divorce attorney Jason W. Smiekel, 29, has been charged with trying to hire someone to kill his girlfriend’s ex-husband. Smiekel represented his girlfriend in the divorce. The undercover ATF officer claimed that Smiekel said the man had knowledge of possible criminal conduct and would soon give that evidence in a hearing.
The affidavit states in part:
Jason is an attorney and had recently represented his girlfriend in her divorce case. Jason indicated his girlfriend’s ex-husband, the intended victim, has information about Jason that could get Jason in trouble and lead to a criminal indictment. Jason had wanted to have the intended victim killed prior to a court appearance that was scheduled to be held on Friday, July 29, 2011.
Jason said he previously paid two males a total of $8,000 to murder the intended victim, with the understanding that an additional $7,000 would be paid upon completion of the task. Jason indicated that the two males took off with the $8,000 and never committed the murder. Jason asked if the CI could “get it done” and Jason indicated that he was willing to pay up to $25,000 for the murder.
Since Smiekel used a cellphone, it is being treated as a federal offense that crossed state lines. I continue to find such jurisdictional claims troubling. Cellphones are now ubiquitous — making federal jurisdiction virtually discretionary for law enforcement even when, as here, the crime appears contained with Illinois.
Smiekel was implicated by a friend who he had asked to help find a hitman. The friend called the ATF and offered to help nail Smiekel — ultimately wearing a wire. The undercover agent met outside a restaurant and promised to make it look like a boatched robbery. He allegedly received $7,000 as a down payment.
This is why I finally had to return from France. I was tired of the French murder-by-bad-escargot cases. No one does murder (or attempted murder) like the U.S. of A.
Source: Chicago Tribune