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July 8, 11

NEWS / Denham Springs Woman Guilty of Federal Murder-for-Hire Charge

BATON ROUGE, LA—United States Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux, Jr. announced that TAMMY COPELAND, age 37, of Denham Springs, Louisiana, pled guilty today before U.S. District Court Judge Brian A. Jackson to use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire.

COPELAND was charged in a criminal complaint filed February 17, 2010, alleging that she solicited an individual to hire a “hit” man to murder her ex-husband, who was then residing in Canada, and to make it appear as though he died as a result of an accident. Unbeknownst to COPELAND, the individual she solicited to hire was an individual who was cooperating with the FBI.

A federal grand jury indicted COPELAND on February 25, 2010, alleging that COPELAND agreed to pay $5,000 for the murder of her ex-husband and that she used and caused another to use facilities of interstate commerce, a federally insured credit union and a telephone, with the intent that a murder be committed. The defendant admitted meeting with a “hit” man. During a recorded phone conversation, the “hit” man told COPELAND the murder would cost $5,000. Outside a local Baton Rouge restaurant, COPELAND delivered a deposit of $2,000 with the remainder to be paid upon completion of the murder. COPELAND supplied the “hit” man with photographs of her ex-husband, an address where he might be found, and described her ex-husband’s work habits, schedule, house alarms, and dogs he might have at his residence.

As a result of her guilty plea, COPELAND faces a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, or both. A sentencing date has not been set.

The investigation of COPELAND was conducted by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert W. Piedrahita.




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