A man is facing up to ten years behind bars after pleading guilty on Thursday to attempting to hire a hitman to kill his wife.
Massimo Marenghi, 56, unwittingly sought the help of an undercover FBI agent to carry out the murder-for-hire.
Officials said the Malden father “complained about his wife seeking a restraining order against him” during a 2021 meeting with what he thought was someone — referred to as a “confidential source” or “CS” in the probable cause affidavit, obtained by Law & Crime — who would put him in touch with a contract killer.
The CS later met with Marenghi, who asked him to help “eliminate” his problematic wife. The duo discussed a price of $10,000 for the job, the feds said. Merenghi gave the CS a photo of his wife’s home and explained how to avoid being caught on the property’s surveillance cameras while he was doing the dirty deed.
The two reportedly communicated through a series of texts that convinced the CS that Marenghi was serious about wanting his wife dead.
“CS responded that if MARENGHI was serious about having his wife killed, then the cost would be $10,000 in cash,” the affidavit reads. “MARENGHI agreed and provided CS with photographs of his wife, information regarding his wife’s employment location and hours, her home address in Malden, a description of her vehicle, and her telephone number.”
It was after that conversation, according to the affidavit, that the CS contacted the Northwood Police Department in New Hampshire, who promptly called the FBI. The CS was interviewed the following day.
Days later, under the direction of the FBI, the CS provided Marenghi with the name and number of someone Marenghi believed “could be hired to murder his wife but who, in reality, would be an undercover FBI agent.”
Marenghi was to refer to the contact as “‘Mrs. Smith,’ identify himself as someone named ‘Boston,’ and inquire about the ‘construction job,'” according to the affidavit.
“Marenghi reached out to the undercover agent, referred to as ‘UC’ in the affidavit, that same day, calling the number provided by CS and using the code words,” Law & Crime reports. “That call was recorded.”
“Using coded language, the undercover agent indicated that the job would require ‘blueprints,’ ‘pictures of the site,’ ‘what time work could start,’ and a ‘preliminary invoice,'” according to the affidavit.
At the in-person meeting, which took place a week later on Jan. 20, 2021, the affidavit states:
MARENGHI described a “situation” he needs “taken care of” – that is, his “soon-to-be” ex-wife. The UC asked, “You want to get rid of her?” to which MARENGHI responded, “Yeah, I need to … to eliminate that problem.” The UC stated, “I mean, we can make it look like an accident … it is your call.” MARENGHI replied, “Yeah, well, I mean obviously that’s the best way.” At one point, MARENGHI stated, “Well, I just- I just need her out of the way for now.” The UC responded, “OK, well that’s … that’s totally different. You either want her killed or you don’t.” MARENGHI stated, “Um, I need- I need the problem eliminated.”
Nine days later, Marenghi gave the UC a down payment of $1,500 in the case and said the sooner the “demolition job” happened, the quicker the would-be killer would be paid in full.
One month later, Marenghi was indicted.
Making the story all the more chilling is Marenghi’s Facebook page, which is filled with images of his children, family gatherings, and nostalgic photos that make him appear to be a loving, involved all-around nice guy.
Shots of his kids’ school plays, birthdays, and, by all appearances, fun family outings paint Mehrenghi as a doting dad and husband.
Marenghi is scheduled to be sentenced on June 8 by U.S. District Judge Allison D. Burroughs.
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