PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ A Providence man who attempted to hire a hitman to torture and kill two men, including a contractor he claimed owed him $8,500, was ordered held without bail.
Agustin Vinas, 51, is alleged to have met up with an acquaintance on April 19, and told that person how he was having trouble collecting money from a local contractor. Vinas also claimed the contractor had threatened his family, according to Acting U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island Richard Myrus.
Myrus said Vinas told his acquaintance he was looking to hire someone to kill the contractor and another man. The acquaintance told him he might know a hitman who would be interested and he’d be in touch with Vinas shortly with more details.
The next day, Myrus said Vinas and the acquaintance met in a parking lot in Providence. This time, the conversation was recorded by members of the FBI Rhode Island Safe Streets Task Force.
Myrus said Vinas was recorded saying he wanted both men killed, and offered to pay $3,000 to have both people murdered. He also reportedly offered an extra $500 to make the bodies “disappear” and wanted the victims to be tortured before they were killed.
Two days later, the acquaintance set up a meeting with a hitman, who was actually an undercover officer, in Pawtucket.
Myrus said the three gathered in Vinas’ vehicle as he identified the targets he wanted killed and provided the officer with the contractor’s cell phone number, address and a description of the his vehicle.
Vinas agreed to put up a deposit for the killings, according to Myrus.
“I’m not dying until this guy is dead,” Vinas reportedly said during the conversation.
Vinas met up with the officer again last week and gave him $100 with another $300 promised for their next meeting. Myrus said Vinas showed him two checks totaling $2,700 and said once they were cashed he would pay him after the murders were committed.
On Thursday, the suspect and the officer met for a third time, and Vinas handed over another $200. The officer asked several times to make sure that Vinas wanted the victims killed.
“I am 100% sure,” Vinas said. He also offered to sign a contract, Myrus said.
FBI agents arrested Vinas on Friday. He’s charged with using interstate commerce facilities to commit a murder-for-hire.
12 News reached out to the owner of a construction company who identified himself as one of the alleged victims, but he declined to comment further out of fear for his and his family’s safety.