ANOKA COUNTY, Minn. - A 62-year-old man is charged in what police are calling a murder-for-hire plot to kill his business partner.
Kevin Condren, of Columbia Heights, allegedly offered a man $5,000 plus a gun last November to kill his business associate -- one who he said was losing him thousands of dollars. Condren is now charged with first-degree conspiracy to commit murder.
According to the complaint, Condren told the man he wanted the victim shot in the ear, saying "just put it in his ear and pull the trigger."
Ten days later, Condren allegedly called the man again and upped the offer to $10,000.
The man said he was concerned for the victim's safety so he contacted police, who set up an undercover operation to make a deal with Condren.
An undercover officer met with Condren at a restaurant in Columbia Heights in December. There, Condren told him he's had an ongoing dispute with the man he wanted dead over a $150,000 business deal. Condren gave the officer a description of what he looked like and told him where he lived. He said he didn't want the man killed until August, after Condren moved to Vietnam, for fear of retaliation from the man's associates.
Condren suggested the officer use a "high-powered rifle" given the victim's size, in an effort to eliminate his chances of fighting back.
Condren then told the undercover officer he'd pay him $7,000, as he had an "ex special forces" guy who could also do it.
Shortly after a second meeting with Condren, authorities met with the victim and told him about Condren's desires to have him killed. According to the charges, the victim said he believed he would follow through, based on previous threats he received from Condren. The charges say the victim was visibly scared by this information.
In February, the victim told authorities he had some unusual activity on his Facebook page. Authorities were able to track it to an IP address in Vietnam.