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Pennsylvania grand jury indicts Cape man in murder plot

By Staff | Jul 17, 2012

Edward McLaughlin

A Cape Coral man accused of plotting the murder of his ex-wife with another person was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury in Pennsylvania.

Edward McLaughlin, 63, of 4017 Palm Tree Blvd., Apt. 204, is charged with possessing and carrying a firearm in connection to a crime of violence, solicitation to commit a crime of violence and conspiracy to use a facility of interstate commerce to commit a murder-for-hire, according to officials.

He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and up to life if he is convicted of using a firearm in connection to a crime of violence, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania reported.

McLaughlin faces up to 20 years on the solicitation to commit a crime of violence charge and up to 10 years if convicted of the murder-for-hire.

In 2011 and 2012, he reportedly solicited a person to kill his ex-wife in Scranton, Pa., and shipped a Mauser rifle from Florida to the co-conspirator to use in the murder. They allegedly communicated by phone and letters.

The Federal Bureau of Investi-gation and Scranton Police Department opened an investigation and McLaughlin was picked up in June on a federal warrant.

Assistant U.S. attorney Francis P. Sempa is prosecuting the case.

It not immediately clear Tuesday if McLaughlin had legal representation.

He could not be reached for comment on the allegations against him.

According to records, the investigation began when Scranton, Pa., police responded to a home on May 29 for a domestic violence call involving Gary Williams and a rifle. The caller said Williams had fired a single shot at her.

Days later, the woman told police that the bolt-action Mauser rifle was shipped to her home for Williams to use in a murder-for-hire plot. She said McLaughlin mailed the rifle for Williams to use on McLaughlin’s ex-wife.

The two men met in February 2011 while incarcerated.

During separate searches of the woman’s home, authorities found the rifle, bullets and the box they were mailed in, which was sent from a Cape address. They also located letters to Williams from someone who signed them “OG.”

McLaughlin was reportedly known as “OG” – Old Guy or Old Gangster.

In an interview with investigators, Williams stated that when he met McLaughlin, McLaughlin told him his ex-wife molested and poisoned their children and was involved in cocaine trafficking. He wanted her killed.

Williams volunteered to commit the murder, but did not have a gun.

McLaughlin reportedly told Williams that he had access to a Mauser rifle.

He added that other inmates alleged McLaughlin also solicited them.

He said McLaughlin offered to compensate him with a job, and he believed McLaughlin because he bragged about owning a company worth $30 million.

McLaughlin allegedly promised a $50,000 salaried job as compensation.

According to records, Williams told investigators that he never intended to commit the murder, that he wanted to be a friend and provide McLaughlin with a “cooling off period” to “re-think his options and calm his emotions.”

He also did not want McLaughlin soliciting another person for the crime.