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SC Inmate Tried To Hire Hitman To Kill Informant And Prosecutor, Feds Say. It Backfired

“You know where to smoke him out, right?”

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A South Carolina prisoner accused of plotting to hire a hitman for the purpose of killing an informant and a federal prosecutor, has been hit with multiple federal charges, according to a release from U.S. Attorney for South Carolina Peter McCoy.

Richard Gilbert, an Edgefield Federal Correctional Institution inmate, was charged with murder-for-hire, retaliation against an informant and money laundering in the incident, according to the news release.

Gilbert, 51, is serving a 10-year prison sentence for trafficking meth in Bowling Green Kentucky.

According to the criminal complaint in the case, federal agents began investigating Gilbert in October when they heard he had been discussing a plot to seek retaliation against an informant who allegedly burned him in his 2019 meth trafficking case.

An undercover FBI agent posing as a hitman then started communicating with Gilbert and recorded the calls, according to the news release.

Here’s a transcript from one of those calls (UC= undercover agent, RRG = Gilbert)

“You know where to smoke him out, right?” Gilbert asked the undercover FBI agent on the phone.

Gilbert even drew maps for the undercover officer and told him how to avoid security cameras on the property of the informant.

During the investigation, Gilbert sent the officer a $2,000 check, taken from his account in prison. He told prison officials he was sending a check to an “investment firm,” the indictment said.

Here’s another transcript from a phone call…

Not only did the investigation find evidence of Gilbert plotting to get the informant in his case killed, but he was also trying to get the federal prosecutor in his Kentucky case killed.

According to the indictment, Gilbert owned rental properties, and he was planning on using that money for a downpayment to pay for the hitman to murder the Kentucky prosecutor.

The FBI and the Federal Bureau of Prisons special operations team are investigating the case, which will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jim May, Justin Holloway, and Will Jordan.

         “Those who seek violent retribution on law enforcement and individuals who assist law enforcement will held accountable,” McCoy said.

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