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By Roger Lanse

Jacob Grijalva, 30, of Silver City, pleaded guilty in Las Cruces federal court on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, to charges of murder-for hire and obstruction of justice.

According to a U.S. Department of Justice press release, Grijalva admitted to attempting to arrange a murder-for-hire by telephone on March 2, 2019, by calling a person he believed to be a hitman but was actually an undercover federal agent. The release stated Grijalva told the agent, “I just need a problem taken care of quick, simple, nothing to trace back to me.” He also asked about a price for the murder and offered to pay in cash and said he wanted to kill the victim to avoid prosecution for a gun charge. He told the agent the murder must happen while Grijalva was in Las Vegas so he would have an alibi.

Additionally, on Dec. 2, 2019, after Grijalva was arrested for the above crime, and while in custody, he solicited another person to burn a phone in a grill because he wanted to use photos of the burned phone, as evidence he lacked intent to go through with the murder.

Grijalva is in custody awaiting sentencing. He faces nine years in prison according to the plea agreement. The Silver City Police Department, Grant County Sheriff’s Office, and the Grant County District Attorney’s Office assisted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Homeland Security Investigations, and U.S. Attorneys in this case.

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