What to Know
- A former tour bus driver was arrested after authorities said he paid an undercover FBI agent to kill three people
- The man, Joel "Rick" Rosquette, allegedly spent every cent in his bank account to pay for the hits on two teens and a gas station operator
- He was arrested on three counts of murder for hire
A former New York City tour bus driver was arrested on Tuesday after he allegedly used every last cent in his bank account to pay who he thought was a hit man to kill three people, according to a criminal complaint.
Joel "Rick" Rosquette was charged with three counts of murder for hire after he allegedly asked an FBI informant to knock off his Manhattan building's superintendent for allowing parties in one unit. Then, according to a complaint, he changed his mind and asked an undercover FBI agent to kill two teens who dealt drugs in the building and a gas station operator on Staten Island to pay for the other two killings.
“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. Today, we foiled this murder-for-hire scheme, sparing three innocent lives a most unfortunate fate,” said FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney, Jr.
According to a criminal complaint, Rosquette first approached an FBI informant in May of 2017 and asked if he knew someone who could "take care of" someone in his building.
When the informant told him that he would be willing to kill someone in the building for $10,000 with a down payment up front, Rosquette allegedly agreed to the price but said it would take him several months to save up enough money for the hit because he had just lost his job as a tour bus driver.
Then, in June, the pair talked about the hit on the phone, according to the complaint. In the call, which was recorded by the informant, Rosquette allegedly complained about his building's superintendent for allowing parties in an unused unit.
"So if we get rid of the super, everything is calm," the informant tells Rosquette. "They can't have them parties no more."
Later in the conversation, the informant asks "You want me to kill this guy, you sure?"
Rosquette allegedly responds, "110 percent, yes."
After that conversation, according to the complaint, Rosquette called the informant several more times over the following months to say that while he still wanted to go through with the hit, he was having trouble scraping together the money to pay for it.
Then, in February, the informant told Rosquette he knew another hit man -- who was actually an undercover FBI agent -- who could do the deed for a "much lower" price, according to the complaint, and the trio allegedly met on Feb. 22.
It was at that meeting, according to the complaint, that Rosquette hatched a new plan. Instead of killing the superintendent, he asked the undercover to whack two teens who he said were dealing drugs in his building.
And -- apparently because he was still having trouble raising money for the job -- he asked the hit man to first kill a gas station operator who kept a safe in a back room to pay for the other two killings. During that meet, Rosquette allegedly told the men he only had $200 in his bank account, but promised to pay $100 as a down payment.
Finally, on Tuesday, the undercover agent texted Rosquette to say he had killed the gas station attendant that morning and made it look like a robbery, adding that he got $12,000 from the safe. According to the complaint, the suspect "expressed excitement about the murder."
Rosquette then asked the agent to drive him to the bank so he could withdraw the final $75 he had in his bank account to finish paying for the gas station attendant's killing and asked for the two teens to be killed the following week.
After the two parted ways, according to the complaint, Rosquette was arrested.
Attorney information for the man wasn't immediately available.