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N.J. woman who tried to place hit on romance rival gets 10 years

By Victoria Cavaliere

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New Jersey woman who admitted to trying to hire a hitman to kill a romantic rival was sentenced on Wednesday to 10 years in prison for the failed plot.

Nicole Faccenda, 44, of Lyndhurst, received the maximum possible sentence during her hearing in federal court in Newark. Faccenda asked for a reduced sentence and cried throughout the proceedings.

Faccenda admitted to federal investigators last year that she had asked a friend in Florida to find a hitman to kill the new girlfriend of her ex-boyfriend, and she put down a $2,000 deposit to secure the services, prosecutors said.

"She told this acquaintance she had a black dress ready to wear to the intended victim's funeral and would 'spit on the casket,'" according to U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.

Faccenda's friend in Florida alerted authorities, and an undercover agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives posed as a hitman and arranged a meeting at a New Jersey gas station to discuss the plot.

In a recorded conversation, Faccenda promised to pay the undercover agent a total of $10,000 to have the unnamed victim killed in a shooting staged to look like a robbery.

During the meeting, Faccenda was also recorded as saying if something happened to the woman's children during the staged robbery, "Oh, well, I'm sorry," prosecutors said.

Faccenda pleaded guilty to one count of using the mail and facilities of commerce with the intent that a murder be committed for payment.

The charge also carries a $250,000 fine.

(Editing by Scott Malone and Chris Reese)

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