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Wisconsin home of hitman searched, priest faces federal charges

When a crime is committed, it generally does not matter who committed the crime, the individual will still deal with the many consequences for his or her actions. These consequences can range from legal sanctions such as a prison sentence or fine to a more permanently impact, such as a damaged reputation.

The penalties for a priest are not clear at this point; the priest was recently charged with the federal crime of conspiring to defraud the U.S. He is believed to have helped a mob hitman who is currently in prison where the priest had been a chaplain.

The priest had been working with men in the prison, listening to their stories and likely advising them on different matters. He met the mob hitman and allegedly helped him pass messages out of the prison. According to the hitman's reformed son, this is not the first time that the man has used priests to help him communicate with those on the outside.

Apparently the hitman had hidden a valuable musical instrument in his Wisconsin home and needed the priest to help two of his friends retrieve the instrument. Federal investigators had already searched the home; the instrument would have been used to satisfy a part of the multi-million dollar judgment against the hitman.

The priest is accused of taking a map of the home and passing it on and then posing as a potential buyer for the home. But it appears that the instrument still has not been located nor has its true worth been determined.

Those who are close to the priest were shocked at the charges and said he had no reason to get involved with the hitman's plans. Was this a situation where the priest's good intentions were manipulated? Or are the charges simply unsubstantiated?

Source: Chicago Sun-Times online, "Priest charged with running mob killer's treasure hunt for violin," Steve Warmbir, 09 June 2011

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