A South Carolina man tried to enlist a white supremacist group to kill his black neighbor and burn a cross on the person’s front yard, authorities say.
Federal investigators say they learned of Brandon Cory Lecroy’s plan in March after a confidential informant told them that the 25-year-old had reached out to a white supremacist organization and said he needed help to kill his neighbor, a federal complaint says. On the next day, March 20, an undercover FBI agent spoke with Lecroy, who allegedly offered payment for the job.
“Five-hundred-dollars and he’s a ghost,” Lecroy told the agent during the recorded phone conversation, according to the complaint.
Lecroy and the agent spoke multiple times on the phone and in person between March and April. During the March 20 conversation, Lecroy asked the agent to hang his neighbor from a tree and to put a “flaming cross” in the person’s front yard, the complaint says. He also texted the agent a picture of the neighbor, who was identified in court documents only as “FJ.”
The agent and Lecroy talked again two days later. Lecroy gave information on when it would be best to commit the killing and talked about plans to take over his neighbor’s property, the complaint says. Lecroy also said he wanted an untraceable 9mm handgun with two “clips” and told the agent that he has more jobs for him in the future, the complaint says.
The two met April 9, when Lecroy pointed out his neighbor’s home in the small South Carolina town of Hodges, talked about future targets and gave the agent a $100 down payment, the complaint says. Lecroy was arrested the same day, according to a court docket.
A federal grand jury indicted Lecroy, also of Hodges, on one count of solicitation to commit a crime of violence and use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire, the U.S. attorney’s office in South Carolina announced Tuesday. If found guilty, he could face up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
Authorities did not say which extremist group Lecroy contacted or how the informant found out about Lecroy. It also was unclear whether Lecroy and his neighbor personally knew each other.
A magistrate judge on April 10 ordered a psychiatric or psychological evaluation for Lecroy to determine whether he’s competent to stand trial.
Lecroy was being held Tuesday at a federal prison hospital, the Post and Courier reported. His attorney did not immediately return a call Wednesday.