[Audio] Man pleads guilty to hiring someone to murder relative; Last week’s top stories

Humboldt Last Week features quick local stories and typically ends with a longer one. Downloadable and on podcast networks for later listening.

In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week

A man recently admitted to hiring someone to murder his cousin’s wife near Shelter Cove.

Reportedly Brad Lanese was growing marijuana in Shelter Cove with his cousin. Lanese had problems with his cousin’s wife. Things boiled over and he was paid to leave.

In Pittsburg stewing over what happened in Shelter Cove, Lanese concocted a plan to rob the grow with someone he didn’t realize was a DEA source. After traveling back to California to work with a man named “Deeds” on robbery logistics things escalated and he eventually asked Deeds to assassinate his cousin’s wife. Lanese didn’t know Deeds was also working on behalf of law enforcement.

Lanese apparently wanted his cousin’s wife injected with a deadly mix of heroin and fentanyl and then he wanted her body and car pushed over the cliffs into the ocean.

The feds say in Lanese confirmed he wanted the hit to happen and agreed to pay $30,000 for it.

Lanese has technically pleaded guilty to “using interstate commerce facilities in connection with a murder for hire.” He’s looking at a 10-year maximum sentence, a million dollar fine, or both. He’s scheduled for sentencing March 13.

More details regarding this story are shared in the episode. Also, here’s the press release from the Department of Justice.

Other stories in Episode 105

Supervisors greenlight an indoor cannabis facility near Fortuna despite city opposition, neighbors change their mind about weed, the nation sees Humboldt coworkers can be really sweet, a judge says the Arcata plaza should nix a couple bars, HSU football concludes with a thriller, the suspect in a viral Arcata arrest pleaded not guilty and will reportedly sue officers, In-N-Out gets closer to in, the DA to take weeks to decide on charges in the Lawson case, the DA says cops were justified to kill a man in Arcata, and more.

Humboldt Last Week also has some lightheartedness, new music picks, and event suggestions. On the radio throughout the day on 99.1 KISS FM Mondays.

Episode partners: Cafe NoonerBongo Boy StudioTuyas Mexican Restaurant

Brad Lanese booking photo


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Episode 105 teaser. Link in the bio #humboldt

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  • Damn. Max 10 years?

    A handful of generations ago stealing a horse got you hanged.

    • This dude and his attorney must be dumber than dumb. Why would he plead guilty to a possible 10 year sentence when they got nothing on him? They got nothing except a conference call where he could have been joking. Not like any one was hurt, or any one actually got paid to hurt any one. I think I would have rolled the dice in front of a jury.

  • I think you mean Pittsburgh (PA), not Pittsburg (CA).

    • 10 points for Gryffindor! Yes, Pennsylvania is mentioned in the audio.

      • Lost Croat Outburst

        But not in the typed copy. Plenty of Pittsburgs; it’s a big country. Modern journalists seem oblivious to geography and spatial orientation in the universe. Note how many articles you’ll see in the media refusing to give address or phone numbers or hours of operation when reporting on a business, fund raiser or even paid advertising. Times-Standard is pretty bad and local TV. Weird. What happened to Who, What, WHERE, When, and Why?

  • I’m surprised california wasn’t more upset with his plan to shove a car into the ocean than the planned murder.

  • http://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2018/10/31/Brad-lanese-California-murder-for-hire-plot-pot-dea-pittsburgh-police-informant/stories/201810310150

    Brad Lanese

    Brookline pot grower admits guilt in Calif. murder-for-hire revenge plot
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Torsten Ove
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Oct 31, 2018

    Brad Lanese stood before a federal judge Wednesday and admitted that he asked an undercover agent to inject his cousin’s ex-wife with fentanyl and shove her pickup off a California cliff into the Pacific Ocean after a dispute over their marijuana growing operation.

    Mr. Lanese, 52, of Brookline, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon to using interstate commerce facilities to commit murder-for-hire. He was charged in December 2017.

    His wife, Janine Lanese, an Allegheny County 911 operator at the time of his crimes, is also charged in federal court with lying to agents who were looking for her husband. When authorities showed up at their house, she told them he didn’t live there. But he was upstairs hiding in a crawl space, agents said.

    Prosecutors said Mr. Lanese had been running a large pot operation in Humboldt County on the northern California coast with his cousin “C.B.” and his cousin’s wife, “L.D.”

    About five years ago, he and L.D. had a falling out and he was asked to leave. C.B. gave him $29,000 to quit the operation. He took it and left, but back home in Pittsburgh he spent it all, plus all the other cash he’d made from the grow operation.

    He grew angry because he didn’t have any money while his former partners were still making a lot. He blamed L.D. for “manipulating” her ex-husband into getting rid of him. So he came up with a plot to rob the operation and even his son, Billy Lanese, who also worked on the pot farm.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Lanni said that in January 2017 Lanese contacted a person in Pittsburgh to help him with the robbery.

    He didn’t know the person was an informant for the Pittsburgh police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, who started recording their phone conversations.

    Mr. Lanese promised the informant that he would pay him for his help in the robbery with marijuana and cash.

    The informant told Mr. Lanese that they should enlist the help of an associate named “Deeds,” who could provide “logistical support” and guns for the robbery. Deeds was actually Eric Harpster, a Pittsburgh police officer who works with the DEA.

    On Oct. 31, 2017, Mr. Lanese and the informant flew to San Francisco, where they were to meet with Deeds.

    When they landed, Mr. Lanese said he now wanted to kill L.D. instead of just robbing her. The next day as they drove to L.D.’s house in Whitethorn, Calif., the informant secretly recorded Mr. Lanese saying he wanted to give L.D. a fatal overdose of fentanyl and heroin and then push her pickup off Highway 1, which runs along the coast, into the sea.

    He said in the recording that the police would conclude that it was an accident.

    “Yes, dude, it happens [expletive] 10 times, all day up in this [expletive] place,” he told the informant about people driving off the cliffs. “They don’t even investigate half of these [expletive] things, dude.”

    Later he said that with L.D. out of the picture, her ex-husband would bring him back into the grow business. He said he’d been plotting revenge ever since he was asked to leave.

    “I kid you not, every single day for four years, I’ve plotted how I am going to get this person back,” he said.

    At the Whitethorn house, the informant bought marijuana from C.B. Mr. Lanese then shipped it back to Pittsburgh, where it was intercepted by postal inspectors. They found the package contained six pounds of pot.

    On the same day, Mr. Lanese, the informant and Deeds all met at a restaurant in Ukiah, Calif., where Mr. Lanese explained that he wanted Deeds to kill L.D.

    He said he wanted Deeds to wait in the marijuana fields where L.D. would go every night to get high on heroin. Deeds was supposed to pretend that his car had broken down. When L.D. stopped to help, he was to inject her with fentanyl-laced heroin and push her vehicle off the highway cliff to make it look like an overdose.

    Deeds played the hitman role convincingly. When Mr. Lanese warned him that the target was a woman, Deeds said he had no trouble killing women, although he drew the line at children.

    He also opened the trunk of his car and pulled out an AK-47, an AR-15 with a bump stock and other weapons supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

    Satisfied, Mr. Lanese flew back to Pittsburgh with the informant.

    In mid-November, the pair held a conference call with Deeds in which Mr. Lanese reaffirmed that he wanted the murder plot to proceed. Deeds was to be paid $30,000 for the hit.

    “I have taken on this commitment, and I am letting you know verbally right now, that I am taking this on and I know the ramifications if I falter,” Mr. Lanese said in that conversation. “This isn’t a joke, I know what I am signing up for.”

    What he was signing up for was a possible maximum of 10 years in federal prison.

    Judge Bissoon said she’ll sentence him March 13.

  • What about his 911 center operator wife Janine? Were her charges dropped?

  • what about his son who still lives down the street from L.D.?????

  • Is $30k the going rate for getting someone whacked? I read that a good, professional hit was around $100k several years ago.

  • Lanese has technically pleaded guilty to “using interstate commerce facilities . . .” laughing out loud.

    The only thing happening on planet earth is contract.

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