From U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District
Joseph Romano, a convicted “boiler room” operator, and Dejvid Mirkovic, Romano’s business associate, have been charged in a federal criminal complaint with conspiring to murder a United States District Judge and an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
The Eastern District of New York is headquartered in Brooklyn, although it covers several other counties and maintains a satellite office in Central Islip, Long Island. A “boiler room” refers to the practice of using high-pressure sales techniques to sell securities of questionable value to unsuspecting customers, especially seniors.
Romano, who is currently serving a 15-year-sentence following his conviction for conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud, and Mirkovic allegedly attempted to hire a hit man to kill a judge, who presided over Romano’s underlying case, and the prosecutor who handled the case, in exchange for $40,000.
The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, whose office is in Downtown Brooklyn, and Mary Galligan, acting assistant director-in-charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office.
Romano is already in custody. Mirkovic was arrested in Lake Worth, Florida, on Tuesday.
When law enforcement officers arrested Mirkovic, they recovered $18,000 in cash and a loaded 9mm semi-automatic, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Additionally, earlier this morning, law enforcement officers searched Romano’s house in Levittown, where they reportedly recovered an additional $9,000 in cash.
According to the complaint, law enforcement authorities learned of the plot in August 2012, when a confidential informant reported that Romano stated he wanted to torture and kill the judge and assistant U.S. attorney and asked for assistance in arranging for a hit man to carry out the murders.
During the subsequent investigation, two undercover law enforcement officers, posing as hit men, met with Romano and Mirkovic numerous times at locations on Long Island, including at the Nassau County Correctional Center, where Romano was being held, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
At one of the first meetings, Romano asked one of the undercover officers to assault someone as a test before agreeing to hire him to carry out them murders, according to the accusation. Romano provided the undercover officer with the name of an individual to assault (a person with whom Romano had a financial dispute) who is identified in the complaint as “John Doe,” and offered to pay the undercover $3,000.
After an undercover officer showed proof of the purported assault of John Doe – actually, staged photographs and the identification card of John Doe – Mirkovic paid the undercover officer the money.
Subsequently, Mirkovic allegedly met with the undercover officer, relayed Romano’s instructions to murder the judge and federal prosecutor, and offered him $40,000 for the job.
That same day, Mirkovic gave the undercover officer a $12,000 down payment and paid an additional $10,000 the following week, according to the complaint. When Mirkovic was arrested this morning, the law enforcement officers reportedly recovered $18,000 in cash, which was wrapped in two bundles.
“Romano thought he was buying revenge. Instead, he bought the full force of the law, along with a possible life sentence,” said Lynch. “By allegedly targeting for death dedicated public servants, the defendants attempted to strike a blow to the heart of our criminal justice system.”