He wanted a hit man, feds say

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Mohammed Chowdhury was having trouble finding a hit man to kill his wife, federal investigators alleged in a criminal complaint. The first person took Chowdhury’s money but ignored his request, an informant allegedly told the FBI in November.

So an undercover FBI agent contacted Chowdhury, the complaint says, and offered their services instead.

Chowdhury, of Boston, met with three undercover agents several times in December and January at various restaurants, according to the complaint. He allegedly asked them to attack his wife and her boyfriend, and he eventually agreed to pay the agents $4,000 to have the two killed, according to investigators.

Chowdhury, 46, was arrested upon allegedly paying a $500 down payment this past week. He was charged with one count of murder-for-hire, the U.S. attorney’s office of Massachusetts announced Wednesday.

The public defenders’ office representing Chowdhury declined to comment.

Chowdhury first met with undercover agents in early December, investigators alleged, after one of the agents contacted him by phone.

In conversations on Telegram, an encrypted messaging app, Chowdhury allegedly told the agents that his wife had cheated on him, kicked him out of the house and wasn’t allowing him to see his two children.

Investigators later found Boston Municipal Court records that alleged that Chowdhury had physically abused his wife and one of their children in 2017. The complaint states that Chowdhury was issued a restraining order, which authorities said he violated in 2018.

Chowdhury was evasive when he met with the undercover agents, the complaint says, on one occasion wrapping his face in a scarf and moving a meeting from a restaurant to his car for fear of being captured by security cameras. He allegedly said he was scared of the police and had never arranged a murder before.

Over the course of several meetings described in the complaint, Chowdhury and the undercover agents haggled over their deal. Chowdhury appeared to ask initially that his wife and wife’s boyfriend be injured badly but not killed, the complaint states. He allegedly suggested that the boyfriend be beaten up “so that he cannot, you know, survive or he cannot leave the city” — or, alternatively, shot in the back and paralyzed.

“We don’t leave witnesses, so for us, it’s either all or nothing,” one of the undercover agents allegedly responded. “So you have to make a decision, what you want.”

In subsequent meetings, the agents asked Chowdhury to confirm that he wanted his wife and her boyfriend killed, and Chowdhury affirmed that he did, the complaint alleges.

For the hits, the agents named a price of $10,000, which Chowdhury said he couldn’t afford, according to the complaint.

“I thought it was going to be cheaper, you know?” he allegedly told the agents.

They eventually agreed on a price of $4,000, paid in installments, that Chowdhury said he would borrow money to pay, the complaint says. Chowdhury allegedly also asked the agents several times to confirm they were serious about honoring the deal, saying he had been cheated before.

On Jan. 17, Chowdhury met with one of the agents in a parking lot to deliver the first payment of $500, according to the complaint. He initially denied that he had sought a murder, saying that the arrangement was simply to “punish” his wife and wife’s boyfriend, the complaint states.

Chowdhury then, unprompted, told agents that he was mentally stressed but a good person and that his wife had caused him pain, according to the complaint. When an agent responded by saying Chowdhury should “just tell the truth,” he allegedly admitted that the payment was for a murder.

Chowdhury faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for Massachusetts. He is next due in court in early February.

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