Florida man to plead guilty to LI judge slay plot
One of the two men arrested in a plot to kill a Long Island federal judge and a federal prosecutor has agreed to plead guilty, court records show.
Dejvid Mirkovic, 38, of Lake Worth, Fla., was arrested in October by FBI agents along with his business associate Joseph Romano, of Levittown, on charges of conspiring to murder U.S. District Judge Joseph Bianco and Eastern District Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Treinis Gatz.
Mirkovic is scheduled to plead guilty March 13 in federal court in Brooklyn before U.S. District Judge John Keenan of the Southern District of New York, court papers show.
Though he is charged with conspiracy to kill both the judge and the prosecutor, a source said Mirkovic will plead guilty only to the charge of conspiracy to murder Bianco.
Conviction on that charge carries a sentence of up to life in prison, as would a conviction on a charge of conspiracy to murder the prosecutor.
At the time of Mirkovic's and Romano's arrests, officials said that Mirkovic aided Romano, who wanted to take revenge after he had been sentenced by Bianco to a 15 years in prison for a coin-fraud conviction. The case had been prosecuted by Treinis Gatz.
During Romano's trial in 2010, Treinis Gatz said he took in $40 million by bilking 1,500 victims around the country, mostly elderly, by selling them collectible coins at vastly inflated prices through the use of high-pressure tactics.
The murder case was moved from Long Island to Brooklyn and a federal judge was brought in from Manhattan to oversee the proceedings because of the potential for a conflict of interest.
Romano told one of the hit men that in addition to the killings, he also wanted "the heads of both the judge and the AUSA [assistant U.S. attorney] be preserved in formaldehyde as souvenirs," the court papers said.
Mirkovic's attorney, Susan Kellman of Brooklyn, declined to comment, as did Eastern District U.S. attorney's office spokesman Robert Nardoza.
Romano's attorney, Joseph Kilada of Garden City, could not be reached for comment. He has previously declined to comment on the case.