A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:
Algonquin Attorney Sentenced to 8 1/2 Years on Federal Murder for Hire Charge
Rockford-An Algonquin, Ill., attorney was sentenced today to by U.S. District Court Judge Frederick J. Kapala to 8 1/2 years in federal prison for using an interstate facility, a cell phone, in a murder-for-hire scheme.
Jason W. Smiekel, 31, of Algonquin 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 Aug. 16, 2011, with federal murder-for-hire charges.
In his plea agreement, Smiekel admitted that in late July 2011, he asked an individual if that individual knew someone who would commit a murder-for-hire.
The individual provided Smiekel with the first name and cellular telephone number for an ATF Special Agent acting in an undercover capacity.
On Aug. 1, 2011, Smiekel offered to pay the undercover agent $20,000 to kill a certain person.
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 Aug. 4, 2011, after Smiekel paid $7,000 more to the undercover agent as a partial payment for the murder, ATF agents arrested Smiekel at a restaurant in Elgin, Ill.
The sentencing was announced today by Gary S. Shapiro, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and W. Larry Ford, Special Agent-In-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The ATF’s Rockford office conducted the investigation, with the assistance of the Algonquin Police Department.
The government was represented by Assistant United States Attorney John G. McKenzie.