On November 8, 2012, the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina reported that Hysen Sherifi of Raleigh was found guilty of nine counts in a murder-for-hire conspiracy. Sherifi is believed to have conspired with two other people in order to retaliate against witnesses who provided evidence in Sherifi’s terrorism case.
Hysen Sherifi was indicted with his brother, Shkumbin Sherifi, and Nevine Elshiekh on February 21, 2012. Hysen Sherifi was previously sentenced to 45 years in prison on terrorism charges. During the second trial, evidence proved that Sherifi offered to pay a hitman between November 2011 and January 22, 2012 to murder three witnesses and behead them. Sherifi now faces life in prison for the charges.
Court documents show that Sherifi asked another inmate at the New Hanover County, North Carolina Detention Facility if he knew how to hire someone to commit a series of murder. The inmate then relayed the information to his attorney, and federal agents started an investigation in November of 2011.
$5,000 was given to an outside informant who the three defendants believed was paying the hitman. Staged photos were set up by federal agents, and Shkumbin sent photos of a dead body and a severed head to Hysen on the day they were arrested. Other evidence included recorded jail calls, recordings in and outside the prison, and testimony.
Sherifi is scheduled for sentencing on February 4, 2013.
U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker stated, “This conviction is further evidence of our resolve to pursue those who seek to attack our freedoms and destroy the way of life we all cherish. We will not waiver in our commitment to bring these individuals to justice.”
The investigation was led by Raleigh and Wilmington FBI Agencies and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation