A white South Carolina man is accused of trying to hire a hit man through a white supremacist group to kill his black neighbor.
Brandon Cory Lecroy, 25, of Hodges, was arrested in April after he contacted the white supremacist group, and then made an arrangement with an undercover FBI agent to carry out his plan, authorities say in federal court documents.
A grand jury Tuesday indicted Lecroy on federal charges of soliciting someone to commit a violent crime, and using interstate commerce facilities — in this case, a cellphone — in the alleged scheme, the US Attorney’s Office in Greenville says.
Prosecutors didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. It wasn’t clear whether Lecroy has an attorney.
A probable cause affidavit doesn’t say how Lecroy came in contact with the undercover agent, or why he allegedly wanted his neighbor dead.
According to the affidavit, an FBI informant told investigators in March that Lecroy contacted a white supremacist organization, and “indicated that he wanted to seek assistance with the murder of his African-American neighbor.”
The next day, Lecroy talked by phone to an undercover FBI agent in Virginia, and allegedly made an arrangement with the undercover agent “to pay for the murder of his neighbor,” according to court documents.
In the call, Lecroy made a request “to put a ‘flaming cross’ in the front yard and hang his neighbor from a tree,” the affidavit says.
“Five hundred dollars and he’s a ghost,” Lecroy said during the phone call, according to the court document.
In a phone call two days later, Lecroy reaffirmed the agreement and gave the undercover agent “further intelligence on when to best … commit the murder as well as plans to take over the victim’s property,” the affidavit says.
On April 9, Lecroy met the undercover agent in Greenwood, South Carolina, discussed “future targets,” and gave the agent “a $100 cash down payment with acknowledgment that this payment was for the murder of his neighbor,” the affidavit says.
Lecroy was detained on April 9. After a hearing that day before a US District Court in Anderson, a judge ordered that Lecroy be committed for up to 45 days to a federal facility for a psychiatric or psychological evaluation. It wasn’t immediately clear where Lecroy was being held.
If convicted on all charges, Lecroy could receive up to 10 years in prison and be fined up to $250,000, prosecutors said.
SOURCE: CNN – Jason Hanna and Tina Burnside