ROCKFORD (WIFR) – U.S. District Judge Kapala sentenced an Algonquin attorney today to 8 and a half years in federal prison for using an interstate facility and a cell phone in a murder-for-hire scheme.
31-year-old Jason Smiekel pled guilty to the charge on April 12, 2012 and admitted to using his cell phone with the intent that a murder-for-hire be committed.
Smiekel was charged by indictment on August 16, 2011 with federal murder-for-hire charges. In his plea agreement, Smiekel admitted that in late July 2011, he asked an individual if they knew someone who would commit a murder-for hire.
The individual provided Smiekel with a name and number for an undercover ATF Special Agent. On August 1, 2011, Smiekel offered to pay the undercover agent $20,000 to kill someone. The next day, Smiekel used his cell phone, a facility of interstate commerce, to arrange for a meeting with the undercover agent where Smiekel gave $1,500 in expense money and a photograph of the intended victim to the undercover agent.
On August 4, 2011, after payin $7,000 more to the undercover agent as partial payment for the murder, ATF agents arrested Smiekel at a restaurant in Elgin.