St. Pauls family targeted in murder-for-hire plot

By Michael Gellatly -

ST. PAULS — A Mexican citizen who is in the United States illegally is in federal custody after allegedly hatching a plot to kill a St. Pauls resident and their family.

Francisco Damien Torres Victoria was arrested last week on federal murder-for-hire and firearms possession charges. The conspiracy unfolded in the first three weeks of September as Victoria attempted to pay another man to rob the home of his intended victim and kill all the family members because of a grudge over a woman, according to recently unsealed documents.

Victoria offered the man — a criminal turned confidential informant for the FBI — $20,000 for killing the victim and an additional $200 for every other family member killed in the home, according to an affidavit.

“Best if you/they kill all of them,” Victoria texted his would-be contract killer on Sept. 13.

“All of them?” the informant texted in reply.

“Yes, dude. So they don’t look into it,” Victoria texted.

In an affidavit for a search warrant, the complaining agent describes tape-recorded conversations between the informant and Victoria. Plans to kill all the residents of the home, burn down the house and how best to disguise the crimes and distance Victoria from them are quoted.

“Subject said he will provide ‘everything’ to include gas, to rob and murder (the victim) except ammunition,” the affidavit reads. “Subjects explained he is not going to buy ammunition because he does not want to be identified as someone who purchased ammunition. Subject will not do the job himself because he has problems with (the victim) and he would be suspected immediately of committing the crime.”

Conversations went on to include Victoria instructing the informant not to use a 9 mm pistol, as the defendant was known to own one, to make sure all shell casings were collected, and Victoria’s plan to have an alibi for when the crime would be committed.

The two met in a West Broad Street parking lot in St. Pauls on Sept 16 and decided the murders were to be committed that day or Sept. 17, according to case documents. At that meeting, Victoria confirmed three times that he wanted everyone in the house to be executed. Victoria was arrested shortly after the Sept. 16 meeting by federal law enforcement.

Victoria, who is represented by a federal public defender, will face a preliminary detention hearing Wednesday.

The Robesonian has elected not to print the names of the alleged victims of this plot.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the case.

By Michael Gellatly

Reach Mike Gellatly at 901-816-1989 or on Twitter @MikeGellatly

Reach Mike Gellatly at 901-816-1989 or on Twitter @MikeGellatly

comments powered by Disqus