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‘Hit-man’ case nets guilty plea

By Karen Zautyk

A Lyndhurst woman, accused of attempting to hire a hit man to kill a former lover’s new girlfriend, pleaded guilty to the charges last week at a hearing in federal court in Newark, authorities reported.

The defendant, Nicole Faccenda, 43, faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when she is sentenced Nov. 14.

Faccenda was arrested last Oct. 26 by federal authorities after the murder-for-hire plot was foiled by an informant and an undercover federal agent posing as the hit man.

In court last Wednesday, she admitted offering to pay $10,000 for the job.

The identities of the potential victim and of Faccenda’s ex have not been made public, but authorities said the man fathered one child with her and at least one with the other woman.

The longterm relationship between him and Faccenda reportedly ended last summer. According to the original criminal complaint, Faccenda phoned a friend in Florida in mid-October, seeking help in fi nding someone to kill her rival. The friend, however, immediately contacted authorities, and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives began recording conversations between the two. At one point, the complaint states, Faccenda stated that she wanted to “spit on the casket” of the soon-tobe deceased.

She also allegedly said that she did not want her ex-boyfriend dead but that he could be shot in the foot. The girlfriend, however, had to be shot in the head, “gone, gone to the moon,” the complaint said.

Last Oct. 21, Faccenda reportedly met with the supposed hit man for the first time, in an A&P parking lot in Mahwah. Subsequent meetings with the informant, whom she wanted to act as a go-between, took place in the parking lot of the Red Robin restaurant in Clifton and at an Exxon station on Rt. 3 in Secaucus.

At the Secaucus meeting, which occurred Oct. 24, Faccenda gave her friend an envelope containing a $2,000 down payment and later, via phone and text messages, provided the intended victim’s name, photo and license plate number, the complaint said.

On Oct. 26, the friend phoned her to report the victim had been shot in the head and it had been made to look like a robbery. But it was a ruse. Faccenda was arrested the same day by ATF agents at her place of work in Mahwah.

After the arrest, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman stated, “This was a cold and calculated plan to end the life of another person. It failed because of the actions of a private citizen, who immediately contacted authorities, and the diligence and hard work of federal investigators. Because of their quick action, a life was saved.”

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