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  •   On Tape: Negotiating With a 'Hit Man'

    Transcribed by Karen Hilliou

    Prosecutors said this conversation between Ruthann Aron and undercover Detective Terry Ryan, posing as a hit man, was taped by Montgomery County police on June 7, 1997.

    TR: ...Okay. I am a stand-up guy.
    RA: Okay ...
    TR: [unintelligible]
    RA: Okay. ...
    TR: [unintelligible]
    RA: Okay.
    TR: [unintelligible] ... good for you.
    RA: Yeah.
    TR: It makes it difficult. He asked me for a lot of different numbers.
    RA: Hmm Hmm
    TR: ... way of doing things.
    RA: Yeah. He ... to me ... that your ... each weapon.
    TR: I can.
    RA: Hmm Hmm
    TR: [unintelligible]
    RA: Well ... I ... want to read about somebody in the obits.
    TR: ... at all. How we get him there is what we need to talk about.
    RA: Yeah.
    TR: I guess ... can I make another example?
    RA: Uh huh.
    TR: The more complex you may need, the more work on my part.
    RA: You mean whether itís an accident or otherwise?
    TR: Precisely. And I hope you can understand that itís difficult for me to assess ... something I am not sure of. [unintelligible]
    RA: You gotta realize I got to have an idea, right?
    TR: [unintelligible]
    RA: [unintelligible]
    TR: You want a range?
    RA: Yeah, that would help.
    TR: Iím not playing games ...
    RA: I hope you donít think I am.
    TR: At this point, I donít, but you need to give me some assurances that you mean business.
    RA: I understand why you ask that and you have to realize, and I donít want you to take offense at this, I need to know I can trust you. Obviously, you need the same thing.
    TR: You donít know me. I donít know you.
    RA: Thatís better that way.
    TR: Thatís good. I am satisfied on my end because of the way you came to it.
    RA: Okay. And I feel somewhat [unintelligible]
    TR: Okay. We can do some things to assure your end.
    RA: Okay.
    TR: How about this. ... [I donít have(?)] no idea who we are talking about.
    RA: Right. Is that gonna matter?
    TR: It can matter if itís in our profile.
    RA: Oh, okay.
    TR: If itís not in our profile [unintelligible] then ... donít have [unintelligible]
    RA: [unintelligible]
    TR: [unintelligible] if thatís a way to put it.
    RA: Yeah, but if it has to be an accident?
    TR: If it has to be an accident?
    RA: Yeah. [pause] I shouldnít say ďhas to be,Ē preferred.
    TR: Thatís a big terminology. ... Letís say 10 is a cap.
    RA: Okay.
    TR: And understand that I am not gonna keep coming back to the well.
    RA: Oh, gee, I hope not.
    TR: But if thereís expenses associated with ... [unintelligible] an accident.
    RA: I understand.
    TR: Hotel rooms, [unintelligible]
    RA: I understand.
    TR: [unintelligible]
    RA: I understand.
    TR: Okay.
    RA: Not a problem. So, if itís gonna be or itís preferred to be an accident at 10K plus whatever expenses there may be.
    TR: [unintelligible] add to that?
    RA: Hmm Hmm.
    TR: He says the word "disappear."
    RA: Ah, well. Thatís not a, wrong terminology, not in my [unintelligible].
    TR: Okay.
    RA: [unintelligible]. I donít think of it as a joke at all. I just mean it took me awhile to figure out how to say it so it would be crystal clear without saying something I didnít want to say so that was just my fault, that word. Thatís not an issue. Okay?
    TR: Very well.
    RA: I think what I have said before about, you know, [unintelligible] in some paper ...
    TR: Okay. Are we talking about an obituary?
    RA: Right.
    TR: Okay. Thatís all you need for confirmation?
    RA: Correct.
    TR: Okay. Hereís how we can proceed. I need to know who I am looking at.
    RA: Hmm Hmm.
    TR: ... information that I can get from you in advance [unintelligible] less expense on your part. In other words, if I donít have to do a lot of homework ...
    RA: Yeah.
    TR: Then, uh ...
    RA: Youíre talking about a, like a, [unintelligible] or maybe a photo.
    TR: Yes. [unintelligible]
    RA: Got that. I figured that might [unintelligible]
    TR: Even a good physical description if you donít have a picture. If I am not sure after I take a look, then Iíll try to reach you [unintelligible]
    RA: Where will I meet you after today? Tell me what works for you.
    TR: [unintelligible] are photographs feasible or is that difficult?
    RA: I will try ... what I thought I would do is see if I can accomplish that this week.
    TR: Okay. If thatís something you donít have access to you donít have to.
    RA: I might be able to get access to. Thatís what I have to check.
    TR: [unintelligible]
    RA: Say again. Thereís someone standing talking loud. I canít hear you.
    TR: I would caution you that, or do I need to caution you, to be careful on how you obtain [a photo]
    RA: No, no, no. I mean one of the reasons I had, what should I say, qualms about calling you is because I thought to myself Iím so concerned about confidentiality, but [unintelligible]
    TR: [unintelligible]
    RA: [unintelligible]
    RA: ... I think connection ... talking about being able to reach you [unintelligible] only if I need him to be able to reach you if I canít. In other words, [unintelligible]
    TR: [unintelligible]
    RA: [unintelligible]
    TR: [unintelligible]
    RA: Okay.
    TR: Done it before [unintelligible] looking over shoulder [unintelligible]
    RA: About some addresses.
    TR: Thatís good. How soon are you talking about having this done?
    RA: You tell me what the time frame that works for you [unintelligible] Are you talking about a week, two weeks, three weeks?
    TR: [unintelligible] well I mean disappear. Actually I am asking about when you want that job completed.
    RA: Hmm Hmm.
    TR: [unintelligible] When am I going to get the information?
    RA: [unintelligible]
    TR: Okay.
    RA: You just want to know the completion date?
    TR: Yes.
    RA: Okay. I donít know. I guess this month?
    TR: I will need the information soon so I can start my homework.
    RA: Okay.
    TR: [unintelligible] ...talk about assurances.
    RA: Yes.
    TR: Would it surprise you that [unintelligible] make these types of inquiries and I am talking suicides which is [unintelligible] and more importantly, which [unintelligible] potential for risk of exposure [unintelligible] so on the topic we discussed earlier on assurances [unintelligible] for some reason this canít be completed or [unintelligible]. Is that clear?
    RA: How much?
    TR: How about a G-note? [for a down payment]
    RA: How about 500?
    TR: [unintelligible]
    RA: Yeah.
    TR: [unintelligible]
    RA: One area - lives in Calvert County. Works in Montgomery County and the District. [unintelligible]
    RA: [unintelligible]
    TR: [unintelligible]
    RA: How do you take delivery on that? [unintelligible] unless you have a method that I havenít thought of, I would guess an envelope to [unintelligible]
    TR: Are you comfortable with that?
    RA: Yeah. [unintelligible] way to find out [unintelligible] if I have a problem.
    TR: [unintelligible] drop.
    RA: Does that scare you?
    TR: It doesnít scare me because I am the fellow whose going to pick it up [?]
    RA: Well. We know whose got it. And that we have [unintelligible]
    TR: [unintelligible]
    RA: Hmm Hmm.
    TR: He seems good.
    RA: Yeah, I think heís good.
    RA: Yeah, I think heís solid.
    TR: My people who Iíve worked with before tell me [unintelligible] and that means a lot. [unintelligible] without getting arrested ... I kind of like to do things by myself.
    RA: Yes.
    TR: And the drop doesnít scare me because thereís a lot of ways that can be accomplished.
    RA: It ... me a little bit ... situation ... envelope ... and then if you wanted to drop it you can drop it ... if you think that makes a [unintelligible]
    TR: Iíd like you to make a drop and as far as who picks it up Iíll address that.
    RA: Hypothetically, where would that drop be?
    TR: It would be right there in public. Itís not going to be underneath of a park bench.
    RA: (laughter)
    TR: Itíll be something more the lines of a [unintelligible]
    RA: public [unintelligible] huh?
    TR: [unintelligible]
    RA: All right.
    TR: I can give that some thought.
    RA: Okay. Give it some thought and I will too. The only question [unintelligible] on that when I sort of had made up my mind I was gonna, I know that probably sounds crazy to you to do it myself just because [unintelligible] you read all these stories about [unintelligible] thinking that youíre - I hope Iím not [unintelligible] [knocking noises in background]. The fact that it comes through my friends it matters to me. You understand what Iím saying?
    TR: I understand. I [unintelligible] apologize. [unintelligible] initially he told me he was going [unintelligible]?
    RA: Hmm Hmm.
    TR: [unintelligible]
    RA: No, he [Mossburg] is a good guy. [unintelligible] we seem to be talking straight. Heís a good guy and I know him pretty well and, you know, I mean, heís got his business problems and Iíve been a friend, but [unintelligible] so, [unintelligible] you and I can talk to each other, [unintelligible] talk to each other maybe we shouldnít. Itís just one more layer of information out there.
    TR: Thatís how I like to work. The less that know.
    RA: Hmm Hmm.
    TR: You cut your chances.
    RA: Yeah, and you know [unintelligible] you watch too much TV and read about and see all these undercover types ... [unintelligible] a rational question on my part. And I donít expect you to guarantee that there would be [unintelligible] on my part.
    TR: [unintelligible]
    RA: [unintelligible]
    TR: [unintelligible]
    RA: [unintelligible] My problem is that I ... the point is to make me feel secure. But like I said, I donít want you to take offense at [unintelligible].
    TR: Iím comfortable having conversation [unintelligible]. Iím okay with that. Okay?
    RA: Okay.
    TR: Okay with you?
    RA: Okay.
    TR: [unintelligible]
    RA: Okay, fair enough.
    TR: [unintelligible]. ... around the 23rd, which would be good.
    RA: Hmm Hmm.
    TR: Unless we get something done before that.
    RA: Before would be good.
    TR: Okay. Letís do this. Why donít you see what you can find out in the next couple of days.
    RA: Like what? Can I reach you on Monday, would that be good?
    TR: The pager.
    RA: The one that I got?
    TR: The pager number you have.
    RA: Okay if I read it to you?
    TR: Sure.
    RA: Iíve got 301-3-----67.
    TR: Thatís it. I gather that if for some reason I need to talk to you before I hear from you ...
    RA: You call him.
    TR: Okay.
    RA: Nobody else, okay?
    TR: Thatís good.
    RA: If I need to reach you before Monday, I call him too?
    TR: The pagerís fine.
    RA: Okay. Thatís good.
    TR: I usually carry it.
    RA: Yeah, of course. Do you think that, is there any time on Monday I shouldnít call you?
    TR: If you donít hear back from me immediately ...
    RA: [unintelligible] donít have numbers to call me back.
    TR: I understand. I have a couple of cell phones that change from day to day [unintelligible] business [unintelligible] so essentially what I do is use somebody elseís account and that happens for a couple of days and ...
    RA: and then you change ...
    TR: and I change and it eliminates a lot of tracing capability. I gather Monday sounds like the best.
    RA: Yeah. [unintelligible]
    TR: Why donít you give me ...
    RA: I figure by Monday [unintelligible]
    TR: How about Monday afternoon?
    RA: Thatís good. Later in the afternoon, like between 3 and 4 or between 3 and 5 if thatís [unintelligible] Once again, the issue is finding a phone.
    TR: Well, then letís do this, okay? I understand you encounter some problems locating a phone.
    RA: Uh huh.
    TR: Do this for me: If you canít find a phone or have difficulty finding one, ...
    RA: Why donít I page you with some kind of a code?
    TR: How about just put a 10.
    RA: If I canít find one.
    TR: If you canít fine one, Iíll contact [Mossburg] and give him a number ...
    RA: Terrific.
    TR: ... that you can call me on.
    RA: All right. If I canít find a phone, Iíll page you and I just put a 10.
    TR: And that tells me to call right back.
    RA: Thatís good.
    TR: [unintelligible]
    RA: 301-10 or 202-10?
    TR: Just dial my pager number.
    RA: And when it says put in a number just put in a 10. It may not take it if itís not enough numbers.
    TR: Okay, put 10 several times.
    RA: Thatís good.
    TR: [unintelligible]
    RA: Okay, thatís fine. So youíll know Iím having trouble finding a phone and youíll call him with a number I can reach you at.
    TR: Cool.
    RA: Okay.
    TR: Um, I might take a ride this weekend.
    RA: Okay.
    TR: Why donít you give me your name and Iíll see what I can find out during the two days so we donít waste time.
    RA: Okay. The last name is K-A-H-N.
    TR: Okay. First name?
    RA: [unintelligible]
    TR: How old a person?
    RA: 45.
    TR: Calvert County?
    RA: Resident.
    TR: [unintelligible] you have?
    RA: [unintelligible] Montgomery County phone book.
    TR: What kind of work does he do?
    RA: Law.
    TR: [unintelligible] Do you know the address off the top of your head?
    RA: I donít. I could guess.
    TR: [unintelligible] Monday afternoon come up with some idea of a draft before then. [unintelligible]
    RA: Okay. Have a good weekend.
    TR: Enjoy [unintelligible]
    RA: Okay. Take care.
    TR: Thanks ...
    RA: Bye.

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