BOSTON, MA - Two men from Calgary, Alberta and La Salle, Quebec, were charged in a criminal complaint on Friday October 17, 2008, with conspiracy to commit kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder for hire.
United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan and Bruce M. Foucart, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, office of investigations in Boston, announced today that Nicholas Djokich, age 57, of 326-330 Sierra Morena Landing SW, Calgary, Alberta and Eginardo Deangelis, age 72, of 9158 Tsse Le Plateau, La Salle, Quebec, were charged in a two-count criminal complaint with conspiring with each other and others: (1) to kidnap a person for the purpose of extorting money from said person; and (2) to travel in, and cause others to travel in, interstate or foreign commerce, and to use facilities of interstate or foreign commerce, with the intent that, as consideration for the promise and agreement to pay money, a murder would be committed in Florida.
The complaint and supporting affidavit allege that Djokich and some fellow investors lost money in an investment venture with a company of which the victim was a principal, and that Djokich believed that he had been defrauded. It is alleged that in early July 2008, Djokich and Deangelis, an associate of Djokich, inquired of an individual who happened to be an ICE informant, whether the latter would be willing to kidnap the victim, a Canadian national living in the Bahamas, and force him to wire transfer tens of millions of dollars to Djokich, and to possibly kill the victim afterward.
It is alleged that the informant introduced an undercover ICE agent to Djokich as a putative kidnaper and hit man. Djokich met with the undercover agent in Boston in mid July 2008, and discussed the kidnaping plan. It is further alleged that, in response to the undercover agent's request for an advance payment of $10,000, in early August 2008 Deangelis delivered the money to the undercover agent at a meeting in Vermont. Allegedly, as communications continued between Djokich and the undercover agent into early October 2008, plans were finalized, with the undercover agent representing to Djokich that he would kidnap the victim when he was in Florida on business, take him out on a boat, and force him to wire money to Djokich. According to the affidavit, discussion about whether the victim would be killed at the conclusion of the kidnaping was left undecided until a final meeting between Djokich and the undercover agent in Boston on October 15, 2008. The undercover agent had made clear all along that such a decision had to be made by Djokich.
It is alleged that, at the final meeting, Djokich told the undercover agent that the victim was to be killed, and he indicated that it was Deangelis who had made the decision. Djokich and the undercover agent agreed on a total price for the job of $40,000. According to the affidavit, the meeting concluded with Djokich believing that the kidnaping and killing would occur early the next week.
Djokich was arrested in Los Angeles, California, on October 18, 2008, after flying from Calgary, apparently for a one-day business trip. Deangelis was arrested on October 20, 2008, in Atlantic City, New Jersey after arriving there on a tour bus from Montreal, apparently for a pleasure visit. Both men have appeared in federal court, Djokich in Los Angeles and Deangelis in Camden, New Jersey. Both waived their rights to probable cause and detention hearing in those locales and agreed to be transported to Massachusetts for such hearings in Boston.
If convicted on these charges, Djokich and Deangelis each face up to life imprisonment and fines of up to $250,000.
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Office of Investigations in Boston with assistance from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Office of Investigations in Los Angeles and New Jersey, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Massachusetts State Police, New Jersey State Police and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James Lang of Sullivan's Major Crimes Unit.
The details contained in the complaint are allegations. The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.