New York man allegedly planned hit on neighbors. Then everything fell apart

Story highlights

  • Man hires hit man to kill neighbors who partied too much, federal complaint alleges
  • The hit man turns out to be an undercover FBI agent

(CNN)Former tour bus driver Joel Rosquette was angry at his neighbors in New York. He claimed the people across the hall partied all the time, sold drugs and rented out a room in their apartment to outsiders, a federal complaint says.

Other neighbors had complained to the superintendent, but Rosquette said he'd not done much to resolve it, according to the complaint.
So Rosquette allegedly came up with a plan: Hire a hit man to kill the superintendent to resolve his problem with neighbors.
    But things did not go as planned.
    The acquaintance he turned to for help was an FBI informant, who started recording their conversations in June last year.

    '110% yes'

    When Rosquette allegedly came up with the plan, he told the acquaintance he wanted the superintendent dead by November, the complaint alleges.
    "Other tenants in the building have tried to shut the apartment down, have them evicted or get rid of the super, nothing," Rosquette allegedly told the acquaintance.
    The FBI informant responded: "So if we get rid of the super, everything is calm. They can't have them parties no more. They get a new super," the complaint says.
    The complaint says Rosquette was then asked whether he was sure about having the neighbors killed. "Are you absolutely 100% positive?"
    "110% yes," Rosquette allegedly replied.
    The acquaintance, who was an FBI informant, arranged for a hit man who'd charge $10,000. Rosquette didn't know that the purported hit man was an undercover FBI agent.

    Recorded conversations

    The three men got to work on the alleged hit, according to phone calls and text messages detailed in the federal complaint. Between June last year and this week, they all met, and exchanged text messages and phone calls -- some of which were recorded by the FBI.
    During their conversations, Rosquette changed his mind on killing the superintendent, and by February decided to instead target the neighbors, according to the complaint.
    After months of trying to save money for the hit job, he allegedly met the informant and the undercover agent in Brooklyn on February 22. The agent wore a listening device for the meeting that included the informant and was monitored by the FBI.
    After that meeting, Rosquette allegedly told the informant that he approved of the hit man. He then allegedly tried to rationalize his decision to kill the neighbors.
    "Rage is rage," Rosquette allegedly told the informant. "When you have rage, you do things. ... When you have that, it's personal."

    Gas station employee

    Rosquette wanted the killings done soon, but he had lost his job and could not afford to pay for the hit man, the complaint says. So he allegedly added a Staten Island gas station attendant to the hit list -- for financial reasons.
    He told the agent he wanted him to kill the attendant, rob the gas station and use that money as payment for the entire job, the FBI says.
    A few days after the meeting, the complaint says Rosquette gave the agent more details about the gas station employee he allegedly wanted killed. The three men went to the gas station last month, identified the location of the security cameras and came up with the plan, the complaint says. It said the employee was not working that day.
    When the agent found the man's photo on social media and texted it to Rosquette on March 1 to confirm the target, he allegedly responded: "Bingo!!! OUTSTANDING," the federal complaint states.
    On Tuesday, the agent called Rosquette and told him that the job was done, that the gas station attendant was dead. The two then met in Manhattan, the complaint states, and the agent said he'd made his killing look like a robbery and stolen $12,000 from the gas station's safe -- enough to pay for the hit on the neighbors.
    Rosquette allegedly ordered the agent to make sure the neighbors' killings were done by next week. Rosquette was arrested Tuesday after the meeting with the undercover agent.
    "As alleged, Rosquette commissioned a hit man to carry out three murders on his behalf. In the end, he was fooled by the merits of his own plan," FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said in a statement Tuesday. " Today, we foiled this murder-for-hire scheme, sparing three innocent lives a most unfortunate fate."
    Information on Rosquette's lawyer was not immediately available.
    Rosquette was charged with three counts of murder-for-hire in Manhattan Federal Court. If found guilty, he faces up to 30 years in prison.