Vermont Man Charged with Hiring Person to Kidnap and Kill a Man in a Foreign Country, and Producing and Receiving Child Pornography

A federal grand jury in the District of Vermont returned a third superseding indictment today against a Burlington man for conspiring to kidnap and kill a man in a foreign country, murder for hire, and five child pornography offenses.  

Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Christina E. Nolan of the District of Vermont, and Resident Agent in Charge Michael Shea of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) – Burlington, Vermont, made the announcement.   

Sean Fiore, 36, was charged with one count of conspiring to kidnap and murder a man in a foreign country from within the United States, one count of producing and attempting to produce child pornography, one count of conspiring to produce child pornography, and one count of receiving and attempting to receive child pornography.  Fiore is also charged with using interstate commerce facilities, namely cell phones and the Internet, in the commission of murder-for-hire, and an additional count each of possession and receipt of child pornography, with which he was charged in prior indictments. 

Fiore was arrested in May 2019, as part of an operation conducted by Vermont’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (VT-ICAC) and HSI, that involved executing search warrants on several residences in May 2019, based on cyber tips that were received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  Fiore is currently detained pending trial, and his initial appearance on the superseding indictment will take place before Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy in the District of Vermont on a date yet to be scheduled.  

The indictment alleges that between November 2018 and April 2019, Fiore knowingly and intentionally used and caused to be used facilities of interstate and foreign commerce, namely, the Internet and cell phones, with the intent of paying someone to kidnap and murder an adult male in a foreign country.  Fiore is alleged to have conspired with that person to have a male victim kidnapped, bound, tortured, and then murdered, so that a video of the torture and killing could be made.  Fiore allegedly paid approximately $4,000 for the video to be made.  

An indictment is merely an allegation.  All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The investigation was conducted by HSI.  Trial Attorney Mona Sahaf of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara Masterson of the District of Vermont are prosecuting the case with the assistance of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs. 

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

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