Woman gets 10 years for attempted hit

Jan. 7, 2011 at 2:01 PM
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Jan. 7 (UPI) -- A Florida woman who hired a federal informant to kill her ex-husband has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Mercedes Morales, 58, of Miramar pleaded for mercy Thursday, telling a federal judge her ex-husband kept her from seeing her child for several years, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin said Morales wanted Fred Coral dead because she believed he informed against her when they were both charged with money laundering.

During a meeting in May with the man she believed to be a hired killer, Morales was recorded telling him Coral "turned me in to the police" and got "house arrest because he told them about me," Sherwin said.

U.S. District Judge William Zloch imposed the maximum sentence allowed by Morales' plea bargain.

Morales, Coral and 34 others were charged in 2003 with money laundering. Coral received a sentence of house arrest, while Morales, who eventually pleaded guilty and admitted she had helped the Cali drug cartel in Colombia transfer cash for years, got 30 months.

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