MURDER FOR HIRE: NJ political consultant admits to paying out-of-state killers to take out ally

A New Jersey-based political consultant admitted on Tuesday to hiring two hitmen to hit a longtime Hudson County associate who had worked for him on various election campaigns, federal authorities said.

Sean Caddle, 44, a former aide to former state senator Ray Lesniak (D-Elizabeth) paid the couple – one from Connecticut, the other from Pennsylvania – to kill Michael Galdieri, the son of the former State Senator James Galdieri (D-Jersey City) and a prominent figure in local Hudson County politics.

Galdieri, 52, was stabbed to death in May 2014 before his Jersey City apartment was set on fire, authorities said.

U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger did not identify Galdieri by name when announcing Caddle’s guilty plea.

He also did not name the killers – although court documents identify them as co-conspirators, indicating possible cooperation with the US Attorney’s office.

“This was a ruthless and violent crime, and this defendant is as responsible as the two men who wielded the knife,” Sellinger said. “There is no greater crime than taking the life of another. The accused admitted to having organized and paid for the murder of two other people. His admission of guilt means he will now pay for his crime.

Caddle paid the Connecticut killer thousands of dollars “to commit murder on [his] […]then recruited a longtime Philadelphia accomplice to join the conspiracy” in April 2014, the U.S. attorney said.

The following month, the men stabbed the victim to death and then set fire to his Jersey City apartment, Sellinger said.

Firefighters found Galdieri’s body after extinguishing the flames at 158 ​​Mallory St. on May 22. His cold-blooded murder had remained a mystery ever since.

After discovering the deed had been committed, Caddle admitted, he encountered the Connecticut hitman in the parking lot of an Elizabeth restaurant. Caddle said he paid the man thousands of dollars, which Sellinger then shared with his Pennsylvania partner.

U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez allowed Caddle to remain free on an unsecured $1 million bond, with house arrest, electronic monitoring and travel restrictions, following Tuesday’s guilty plea in Newark for conspiracy to commit murder for hire.

“Today’s guilty plea will bring a sense of closure to the family of the victim who has wondered – for nearly eight years – who murdered their loved one,” said the FBI Special Agent in Charge, George M. Crouch Jr. “This should serve as a warning to criminals and would-be criminals alike – while you live your life thinking you got away with it, the FBI is gathering the facts that will serve your undoing .

Sellinger credited Crouch’s special agents with the investigation that led to the plea, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee M. Cortes Jr., head of his healthcare fraud unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Farrell, head of its cybercrime unit. He also thanked the Hudson County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance.

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