By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun
6:31 PM EDT, July 31, 2012
An alleged Baltimore contract killer who went by the street name "Tony Montana" is in federal custody after authorities say he agreed to execute the associate of an apparent drug dealer — who was actually an undercover FBI agent.
Court documents outline a series of meetings between 46-year-old Antonio McKiver and the agent, during which conversations were recorded detailing how McKiver would take out the target in exchange for $15,000 and a kilogram of cocaine.
"That ain't no problem," McKiver allegedly said in one conversation, according to court records. "Give us the address, a picture, whatever, and we'll take care of that."
The case underscores a tactic that federal authorities appear to be using increasingly in Baltimore: Targeting suspects in violent crimes whom they lack evidence to link to a past bad act but who, through stings, they can show are willing and ready to commit new crimes.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, for example, has recently conducted at least three stings against separate groups of men believed to be committing home invasion robberies. It's high-wire police work that in two of the cases resulted in gunfire in public areas.
An FBI spokesman declined to comment on the case, but a special agent wrote in court papers that McKiver had "engaged in acts of violence, including contract killings, since the early 1990s," with the victims "typically involved in the drug business."
Court records show McKiver, whose nickname derives from the 1983 film "Scarface," has been charged with murder twice, in 1992 and again in 1993, with both cases dropped.
He was also implicated in the 1993 killing of bail bondsman Angelo Garrison Sr. and his 3-year-old son, with federal prosecutors saying he was an "enforcer in a city drug gang" and the middle man who introduced a drug dealer to the 21-year-old triggerman, The Sun reported at the time. He was not convicted of a crime in that incident.
McKiver, then in his late 20s, would later be sentenced in a separate case to 188 months in federal prison for his role in a heroin-related conspiracy.
He was released from prison in late 2007, and authorities say his supervised release ended in September 2011.
The FBI's Safe Streets Task Force confirmed through sources that McKiver was taking on contract killings, and in 2012, in conversations that the FBI describes as "consensually recorded," he told an informant that he was "looking for work" and was introduced to the agent, court papers show.
On June 7, the source met McKiver at his home, a single family house with red shutters in the 4400 block of Saint Thomas Ave. in Northeast Baltimore's Frankford neighborhood, where they discussed a murder contract, records show. He asked for payment in cash as well as drugs that he could re-sell on the street, records show.
About a week later, McKiver and the undercover agent were introduced in a Baltimore County hotel room, where the FBI says it recorded McKiver agreeing to commit the murder in exchange for $15,000 and a kilogram of cocaine.
When asked about a gun, McKiver said "something automatic. … Beretta is the best, but any other 9 [mm] will do."
McKiver said he would bring an associate with him, saying two shooters would "make sure he don't get up."
"I can handle it," McKiver allegedly assured the undercover agent. "It's not my first rodeo."
McKiver faces charges of use of interstate facilities in the commission of murder for hire; possession with intent to distribute heroin; and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years for the murder-for-hire charge.
Attempts to locate an attorney for McKiver were unsuccessful, and a woman listed as his wife through his Facebook page did not respond to a message seeking comment.
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