Prosecutors say the murder case in southwestern Philadelphia was thwarted
Last week, a Philadelphia man tried to pay $5,000 to get an opponent killed in an hired murder conspiracy to be arrested by law enforcement officials. They believed that if the plan was not thwarted, many people might become violent targets.
The discovery of the suspected conspiracy is part of an ongoing state drug trafficking investigation, during which investigators learned of a communication initiated by 47-year-old Darnell Jackson, also known as a “major change.”
Court documents opened on Monday showed that Jackson contacted an unnamed person through a series of phone calls and text messages to arrange the killing of a third man in southwest Philadelphia. Federal authorities have not confirmed the identity. In these communications, Jackson allegedly sent a picture of the alleged target and stated that he was willing to pay $5,000 for it.
Prosecutors said that Jackson also expressed interest in finding close friends of Jackson’s competitors so that they could also become targets.
It is alleged that Jackson arranged for the murder to occur on Wednesday, July 21. That night, the killer called Jackson and said he had been killed, but nothing actually happened. Jackson allegedly replied that he was on the way to meet the killer and pay him for his services.
A few minutes later, law enforcement officers stopped Jackson in his car near 65th Street and Gale Avenue. He owns a Glock style ghost gun with 16 live ammunition. The prosecutor said that he barely had $5,000 in his possession.
Jackson was immediately arrested and appeared in federal court for the first time on Friday.
Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Abidil Williams said: “It is not groundless to conclude that law enforcement has frustrated the defendant’s multiple attempted murders last week.” “But there are hundreds of families in this city. This news is of little significance to them, because their relatives have been shot dead this year.”
Jackson’s arrest is part of an ongoing federal participation initiative between federal and local authorities to reduce gun violence in Philadelphia.
“PPD and our partner agencies recognize the seriousness of Philadelphia’s dilemma,” said Philadelphia Police Chief Danielle Outlaw. “Those who commit serious crimes must face serious consequences, and the arrests announced today are the real reason for the creation of this joint initiative.”
If convicted, Jackson could face up to 20 years in prison, convicted of hiring a felon for murder and possession of ammunition. His detention hearing is scheduled for August 3.