Feds used recorded jail calls and cell phone data to arrest couple in Michigan murder-for-hire investigation

FLINT, MI – Special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) used recorded jail calls, business records and cell phone data in their investigation into an alleged murder-for-hire scheme in Flint which was ultimately unsuccessful.

The investigation led to the arrests of Julius K. Jordan and Reginald L. Hunter, who are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit murder for hire.

A third person, referred to in the federal indictment that was sworn in on April 11 and unsealed on Friday, April 15, as “Person-1,” has not been named. He is described as a resident of Maryland who previously lived in Flint.

“I have probable cause to believe that at some time beginning on or about February 6, 2022, and continuing through or about February 15, 2022, in the Eastern District of Michigan and elsewhere, Julius K. Jordan and Reginald L. Hunter, conspired with each other, and others known and unknown to the government, to commit murder for hire,” ATF Special Agent Dustin Hurt wrote in his federal affidavit.

The plan

According to the federal indictment that names Jordan and Hunter as suspects in the case, federal authorities allege that Person-1 agreed to pay Jordan and Hunter to travel to Flint between February 6 and February 15 and kill the man he believed to be he had killed Dennis Denard Thomas on February 2. 6.

Thomas, according to the affidavit, was an associate of Person-1 and was called his “little brother”.

After Thomas’s death, text messages supposedly exchanged between Person-1 and Jordan and Hunter break down an apparent plan for the three men to travel to Michigan and find and kill the person they suspect shot and killed Thomas.

A Feb. 7 text message from Hunter to Person-1 inquired about renting a vehicle for two weeks, according to the affidavit. Hunter then sent Person-1 a screenshot of the Enterprise car rental website for a full-size Chevrolet Malibu, which was to be picked up at an Enterprise location in Mobile, Alabama.

On February 11, Person 1 sent $1,000 to Hunter, who then sent $500 to Jordan to rent the Malibu. Jordan told Hunter that same day that he planned to buy gloves and that he had a wig, and that Hunter should also buy a wig.

Hunter kept Person-1 informed of their estimated time of arrival as they drove to Michigan. Just before 11 p.m. on February 12, Hunter told Person-1 that they had arrived.

Hunter sent Person-1 the location of a hotel in the Flint area on February 13. Person-1 asked Hunter if he had received the money, but Hunter said “no,” according to the affidavit.

“Can you send us half of what you’re trying to pay because we don’t really bring bread here, bro?” Hunter told Person-1 in text described in the affidavit.

On or about February 13, Person-1 rented a white crew cab Ford 4×4 SD pickup from an Enterprise car rental location near Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

That vehicle was seen the next day being followed by Jordan’s rental Malibu near the intersection of Pierson Road and Martin Luther King Boulevard in Flint.

The indictment shows that the next day, Hunter texted an associate saying he had to get off his phone because “shit” was about to get “real” and that he and Jordan were “looking for (people).” .

Michigan State Police Traffic Stop

Around 10:30 p.m. on February 15, Michigan State Police stopped the Malibu while Jordan was driving and Hunter was in the front passenger seat.

Police said they noticed an FN Herstal model PS90 semi-automatic rifle at Hunter’s feet and a .223-caliber magazine protruding from under the driver’s seat.

Both men were asked to get out of the vehicle, and soldiers found a Talon Armament semi-automatic rifle, model TAC-GAR15 with a folding stock.

The FN rifle was loaded with 44 rounds of ammunition and an additional round in the chamber, the indictment says. The Talon rifle was loaded with 39 rounds and an additional round in the chamber.

Through their investigation, authorities said in the affidavit that they were able to determine that the short-barreled rifle Jordan had was purchased on Jan. 4, 2021, from Arimus Tactical in Halethorpe, Maryland, 16 miles away from the address. the Person-1.

Hunter’s FN Herstal rifle was purchased in August 2019 in Michigan. The dealer information, according to the affidavit, was Michigan Police Equipment in Charlotte.

Interviews with people who had previously bought and sold the weapon suggested that it was most recently sold to a known Persona-1 associate in early 2021.

As police pulled over the Malibu, the unidentified person passed by and attempted to make two Facetime calls to Hunter.

The two men were arrested on local firearms charges and booked into the Flint City Jail before being booked into the Genesee County Jail. They were released on February 18 pending further investigation. But while in jail, the duo made several compromising phone calls, described in the officers’ affidavit.

Recorded jail calls

Before being transported to the Genesee County Jail, Hunter called a person referred to as “Person-2” in the affidavit.

Earlier in the call, Hunter asked Person 2 to reach out to Person 1 on Instagram. Nearly eight minutes into the call, Hunter told Person-2 that Person-1 was in a vehicle in front of Hunter and Jordan when they were pulled over and said they needed to be paid.

Hunter called Person-2 from the Genesee County Jail on February 16 and asked if Person-2 had spoken to Person-1. The anonymous man said that Person-1 was going to pay to get a lawyer for Hunter and Jordan.

“All I know is that he better give you some money too,” Person-2 said, according to the affidavit. “I know your butt didn’t go up there and go through all that for nothing.”

Hunter described to Person-2 that Person-1 made a U-turn and walked past her and Jordan as they were stopped, adding that Person-1 seemed “very scared” when they were stopped.

Person-2 said that he believed that Person-1 should still pay the two men $5,000 or $2,500 for their troubles.

A funeral was held for Thomas on February 18, the day Hunter and Jordan were released from jail. Person 1 paid all funeral costs and attended visitation, but left before the funeral, the affidavit says.

Jordan received a recorded call from jail on March 5 from an associate referred to as “Person-3” in the affidavit who is currently incarcerated in Alabama. Jordan and Hunter discussed with Person-3 about traveling to Michigan under the direction of Person-1.

“Man, you know the little mission, man,” Jordan allegedly said on the call. He told Person-3 that “little brother died or something” and that Person-1 needed someone “to go there”.

Both men are due in court on Wednesday, April 20, for a detention hearing before Magistrate Judge Curtis Ivy, Jr.

The hearing will determine whether they will remain in custody during the course of their court proceedings.

read more on the flint diary:

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Flint Community Offers List of Lawsuits Following Allegations of Excessive Force by Township Police and Sheriff’s Deputy

Jury returns guilty verdict against man in 2019 Flint triple homicide

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