A Miramar woman has been officially charged in a plot to murder her ex-husband, according to a news release from the FBI. Mercedes Morales, 57, of Miramar, i was arrested on June 7, 2010, and made her initial appearance in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Seltzer today, June 8, 2010, at 11:00 a.m. in Fort Lauderdale.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the complaint, the defendant contacted an individual to help her plan and execute the murder of her ex-husband. In fact, however, the individual whom the defendant contacted was a cooperating witness working at the direction of the FBI. The complaint further alleges that during May 2010, in a series of recorded conversations at a Starbucks in Fort Lauderdale, Morales described her ex-husband as a “traitor” for having assisted federal authorities in an earlier investigation that led to the defendant’s 2003 conviction on money laundering charges, and specifically directed the cooperating witness to tell her ex-husband that the murder was ordered by Mecha, which is Morales’ nickname. To seal the deal, on May 26, 2010, Morales gave the cooperating witness a diamond ring, valued at more than $5,000, as a down payment on the murder.
Special Agent in Charge John V. Gillies stated, “Like a made-for-TV movie, this case had a happy ending—no one was hurt. It is fortunate that information about Morales’ scheme was relayed to the FBI. Citizens who assist law enforcement are essential to our mission in putting criminals behind bars.”
Mr. Ferrer commended the efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in this case. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael R. Sherwin and Frank Tamen.