A suburban Chicago insurance agent and a former university research technologist are charged in an alleged murder-for-hire scheme aimed at killing a federal prosecutor and drug enforcement agent, officials said.
Jack Mann, 41, of Naperville, who billed himself “the always available insurance guy,” and Frank Caira, 39, of Downers Grove, were arrested last week and charged Jan. 16 in criminal complaints.
FBI agents said in court papers that Mann told them after his arrest that Caira had urged him to find out from a member of the Almighty Latin Kings street gang how much it would cost to have the two federal officials killed.
The agents quoted Mann as saying Caira wanted the two officials killed because they were involved in prosecuting him on marijuana and methamphetamine charges.
The specific charges were soliciting the use of force against a person.
“These are very serious charges and we’re treating them seriously,” said Mann’s defense attorney, Michael J. Petro. A message was left at the Wheaton office of Caira attorney Jeffrey Fawell.
FBI affidavits said an informant – who already had served time in prison for murder – told them in December that Mann had come to him seeking someone to make the prosecutor and the agent involved in Caira’s narcotics case “disappear.”
The informant said he “never had any intention of killing anyone” but merely wanted to get either Mann or Caira to hand him a “down payment” of two kilograms of cocaine before “absconding with the down payment,” according to court papers.
When the down payment was not forthcoming, the informant had his lawyer contact the FBI and began to tell his story. The two men were arrested as a result of a joint investigation by the FBI and the federal Marshals Service.
The assistant U.S. attorney and agent allegedly targeted by the scheme were not named in the complaints but merely referred to as Victim 1 and Victim 2.
A message seeking comment was left for Shoshana Leah Gillers, the only prosecutor assigned to Caira’s narcotics case. U.S. attorney’s office spokesman Randall Samborn declined to say whether Gillers was the intended target of the alleged scheme.
U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald and the prosecutors under him removed themselves from any role the case because one of the victims is a federal prosecutor, Samborn said.
The matter was assigned to two northern Indiana-based assistant U.S. attorneys, Susan Collins and Jennifer Chang.
Caira is a research technologist formerly employed by Northwestern University. A spokesman for the university said he worked there from 2001 until 2008.