2003-09-12 / Front Page

Belle Harbor Man Indicted in Murder Plot

Belle Harbor Man Indicted in Murder Plot


A Belle Harbor man, already being prosecuted for conspiring to sexually mutilate his girlfriend’s ex-husband for the rape of the divorced couple’s teenaged daughter, has been indicted on new charges of conspiring to murder a state prison inmate who had tipped off authorities about the assault-for-hire plot.

According to the District Attorney Richard Brown, both alleged plots were prevented by separate undercover "sting" operations.

DA Brown, in announcing the new indictment, said, "The defendant has been charged with having plotted the murder of a state prison inmate who had informed prison authorities about the defendant’s plan to sexually maim the defendant’s girlfriend’s ex-husband for the rape of the divorced couple’s teenage daughter.  Fortunately, as the result of superb investigative work, both of the defendant’s violent plots were discovered."

The District Attorney identified the defendant as David Quinn, 37, of 515 Beach 138th Street in Belle Harbor, who has been charged in a two-count indictment with Conspiracy in the Second Degree to commit Murder in the First and Second Degree and faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.  Quinn was arrested earlier this week, following his appearance on the earlier charges and is being held to await arraignment on the new charges in Queens Supreme Court. 

Brown said that the murder-for-hire investigation began in January when Sullivan Correctional Facility officials in Fallsburg, New York learned that the defendant had written letters to more than 100 inmates, including convicted Son of Sam murderer David Berkowitz, soliciting the murder of a 27-year-old inmate currently serving a 10-year sentence for rape.

The District Attorney said that his office’s Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau and the State Department of Corrections Inspector General and the State Police, set up a "sting" operation in which an undercover State Police investigator posing as an inmate willing to carry out the murder corresponded with Quinn.

It is alleged in the indictment that on April 14, 2003 the undercover officer sent Quinn a response letter and told Quinn that he would kill the inmate, a key witness in the defendant’s pending assault-for-hire case in Queens Criminal Court, and requested a photograph of the inmate.

Thereafter, it is further alleged, the following events occurred:

Quinn, on May 2, sent the undercover investigator a photograph of the inmate. The undercover investigator on June 4, instructed Quinn to send him various food items, including Hershey’s kisses to symbolize the "kiss of death," as an indication that Quinn actually wanted the inmate to be killed.

Quinn, on June 10, sent two packages by mail to the undercover investigator, which contained various items the undercover had requested as payment for the murder of the inmate.  The packages, which were mailed separately from post offices in Rockville Centre and Hicksville, contained various items including Crayola crayons, beef jerky, Cup O’ Noodles soup, various candy including Butterfingers bars, Twizzlers sticks and Jolly Ranchers drops, Newport cigarettes, as well as the Hershey’s kisses. 

Investigators on August 4, executed a court-authorized search warrant at Quinn’s Belle Harbor, Queens residence and recovered numerous photographs of the inmate, mailing labels and certified mail receipts and correspondence the undercover investigator had mailed to Quinn and his two computers.

The District Attorney said that the target of the assault-for-hire plot which is alleged to have led to the subsequent murder-for hire plot was a 61-year-old Queens resident, Quinn’s girlfriend’s ex-husband, whose name is not being disclosed to protect the identity of his daughter, a sex crime victim.  The ex-husband pled guilty to Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the First Degree and was sentenced in May to serve 10 years in prison. District Attorney Brown said that Quinn is alleged to have paid $500 to an undercover State Police trooper whom he believed was a "hit-man" to cut his girlfriend’s daughter’s father in the groin and sexually mutilate him as punishment for the rape.

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