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October 25, 2016Newark, NJ, United StatesFirearms, Ammunition and Explosives, Cyber Crimes

New York man charged with conspiracy to commit murder for hire

NEWARK, N.J. — A New York man was arrested Monday on charges of conspiracy to commit murder in Mahwah, New Jersey. The charges resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office (BCPO) Cyber Crimes Unit.

Joshua Craig Rowling, 18, of Richmondville, New York, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit murder for hire, one count of possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, one count of unlawful possession of a weapon and one count of possession of a silencer.

“We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to pursue individuals who attempt to disregard the rule of law,” said Special Agent in Charge Terence S. Opiola, HSI, Newark.  “I commend our special agents and the BCPO cyber unit, under the direction of Officer-in-Charge, Deputy Chief Robert Anzilotti for their cyber monitoring and investigative skills.”

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Rowling was using the internet in an attempt to secure a firearm outfitted with a silencer and cash in exchange for committing a murder.  Ultimately, Rowling went to Mahwah to meet with a person he thought was seeking his services as a hit man, but who was actually an undercover officer. Search warrants were executed at his home in New York as well as his vehicle in New Jersey, resulting in numerous items of evidence. 

Bail was set at $1,000,000 with no 10 percent option.  Rowling is remanded to the Bergen County Jail in lieu of bail pending his first appearance in the Bergen County Central Municipal Court in Hackensack, New Jersey, on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.  Because they are indictable offenses, the charges will be presented to a state grand jury for potential indictment.

Updated: 10/08/2020