CRIME

Daniel Mendoza arrested in murder-for-hire scheme

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A Rockville man was arrested Tuesday on charges that he wanted to hire a hitman to kill his wife and her friend, police said.

Mendoza allegedly took out a hit on his wife. (Photo: Montgomery County Police)

Daniel Alfaro Mendoza, 48, was arrested by Montgomery County Police and charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and the attempted murder.

Police learned that Mendoza was working to hire someone to kill Mendoza's wife, Ermosinda Saravia, and her friend, Arturo Gamboa Yangali. Police said Saravia had a protective order against Mendoza since October 2011 because he had threatened to kill her.

Mendoza contacted an undercover officer in March, where the officer had said that he was willing to kill both Saravia and Yangali for money, police said.

"He said, 'I want her dead' and he offered money and a specific plan," Montgomery County Assistant State's Attorney Debbie Feinstein said. "He laid it all out for them."

Mendoza provided specific details to the officer on how he wanted the murder to occur and showed the officer where Saravia lived and stated he would pay the officer $200 and sign over the title of his vehicle as payment, police said in a report.

He was then arrested immediately.

Mendoza told the officer that he would return to his native country of Honduras while the murders were happening so that he would not be a suspect, police said. Mendoza was arrested by police following the meeting.

In the Twinbrook neighborhood where Mendoza thought he had hired the hitman to kill his wife, neighbors called the elaborate plot "unbelievable." Deborah Moriarty, the suspect's neighbor, said there was no reason to suspect anything about Mendoza.

She said that there had been multiple people in and out of the home, almost as if it were a kind of community house.

"They have been quiet neighbors for us," Moriarty said.

 

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