Pittsburgh man pleads guilty to hiring DEA informant to kill his estranged wife

By Terri Hill | October 31, 2018

A Pittsburgh man pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to hiring a man to kill his wife, so that he could take over her California-based marijuana grow operation.

Brad Lanese, 52, pleaded guilty to one count of using interstate commerce facilities in connection with a murder for hire plot, according to an announcement from U. S. Attorney Scott W. Brady.

According to court documents and information presented in court, Lanese and two associates – identified as C.B and his wife, L.D., ran a large marijuana grow operation in Northern California.  Lanese was asked to leave the couple’s home after they became estranged. Lanese then traveled back to Pittsburgh.

Lanese contacted an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration and requested that the informant  travel with him to California in order to rob his wife and C.B..

On Nov. 1, 2017, the pair met with another DEA informant identified as “Deeds” at an undisclosed location in California, who was to provide the pair with firearms to be used in the robbery.

Lanese told “Deeds” that he no longer wanted to rob C.B., but offered “Deeds” $30,000 to kill his wife by injecting her with a fatal dose of heroin/fentanyl, and then push her body into the Pacific Ocean.

Prosecutors say Lanese would have paid “Deeds” from the money he received selling marijuana.

On Dec. 8, 2017, Lanese was arrested by DEA agents and police at his home in Brookline.

U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon scheduled sentencing for March 13. Lanese faces a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000, or both.  He remains in custody pending sentencing.

Terri Hill can be contacted at terri.hill@grantstreetnews.com



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