A 41-year-old convicted gun thief’s $50,000 murder-for-hire plot was foiled this week when he learned his fellow planners were undercover FBI agents posing as mobsters and the intended target was a fictitious businessman.
Hyunkook Korsiak was arrested on Wednesday in New York on one count of murder-for-hire and one count of possession of a firearm following a felony conviction, the U.S. Justice Department said.
“The defendant displayed a callous disregard for life and planned to conduct his act of violence in the middle of Manhattan,” FBI Assistant Director Michael Driscoll said in a statement. “The FBI will not tolerate such acts of violence, and any individual willing to cold-heartedly kill another person will be made to face the consequences in the criminal justice system.”
The case, which reads like a Netflix series, is documented in a federal criminal complaint charging him with the murder plot and being a felon in possession of guns. Korsiak had previously served 52 months in federal prison after a 2017 conviction in Maine for theft from a licensed firearms dealer.
The case was first flagged to the FBI when the Federal Bureau of Prisons intercepted messages from Korsiak allegedly expressing his desire to kill someone for money.
Federal agents then arranged for an undercover officer to pose as a “member of a transnational criminal organization engaged in money laundering, drug and weapons trafficking and various acts of violence, including murder,” documents state
The complaint details encrypted messages and meetings with the undercover agent in Battery Park, New York, and Boston that were recorded on video. According to the complaint, the suspect told the undercover agent he wanted to “work for the Organization” and participate in murders-for-hire.
Korsiak allegedly said that even though he lived in Maine, he was available whenever needed for jobs.
The undercover agent told him that he had a job. The requirement: “this person comes to New York and doesn’t leave breathing.”
The defendant allegedly asked if the agent could provide information regarding the target’s location and itinerary while the intended victim was staying in New York.
“You just tell me where to go and what to do, and you know I can make that happen,” he said, according to court documents. He requested silencers and a police uniform for the hit, and a latex mask so he could defeat facial recognition technology.
He told the undercover agent he was considering using an AR-10 with a 20-inch barrel as a “long-range option” and asked for the weapon and .308 Winchester cartridges, the complaint states. He also asked an agent whether he could get M-84 flash-bang grenades, the same ones used by the military and police to stun or incapacitate people, as a distraction, if necessary.
Korsiak also described how he would approach from a car and shoot the intended target as he walked in midtown Manhattan.
He had the plans, complete with a fictitious photo of his intended target, and met with the undercover agent in New York on Wednesday night. The agent paid him $25,000 and said he’d pay the other half after the job.
Agents arrested him just before 8 p.m. that night. He had a loaded sig sauer 9mm pistol in a black holster, and the $25,0000 in cash the agent handed him earlier.
In his car, agents found the weapons, ammo and an owner-assembled ghost gun with no serial number.
Korsiak faces up to 10 years in prison for the murder-for-hire charge and 15 years if convicted on the charge of possession of a firearm following a felony conviction.
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