10:53 PM
Robert Warren Jones (mug shot GCSO)

Federal prosecutors have charged a correctional officer at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield with attempting to hire a hit man to kill his wife's ex-husband.

Robert Warren Jones, 41, of Springfield, was arrested this morning (7-13-12) when he allegedly met with an undercover FBI agent, who was posing as the hit man, at Battlefield Mall.

According to an affidavit filed in support of today’s criminal complaint, Jones contacted an inmate at the federal medical center and asked him to assist in hiring a hit man to murder his wife’s ex-husband (referred to as “John Doe” in public court documents). Jones was aware that the inmate had been in a leadership position in a drug-trafficking organization, the affidavit says, and had connections to individuals who could carry out such a request.

The inmate, who was cooperating with investigators, met with Jones for 10 to 15 private conversations in March and April 2012, the affidavit says. Jones allegedly offered to give the inmate a cell phone to call a hit man, avoiding the possibility of the conversation being recorded if the call were placed on a landline at the prison.

Federal Medical Center for Prisoners in Springfield, MO

As a part of a routine quarterly personnel shift at the medical center, Jones was moved to a different unit and was therefore unable to meet with the inmate for a period of time. The inmate later reestablished contact with Jones after being moved to a cell in the same unit that Jones was assigned. According to the affidavit, they met again on June 21, 2012, the first day they were in the unit at the same time. They had multiple meetings during July 2012, the affidavit says, with Jones standing outside the inmate’s jail cell and speaking to him through an opening in the door. All the meetings were captured on the unit’s surveillance system. During one of those meetings, Jones allegedly told the inmate that his wife had left him and took all their belongings except the couch, television and bills, and he would have to come up with the money to hire the hit man.  He also blamed his wife's ex-husband for his wife leaving him.

At one point, Jones told the CI that he was going to offer his truck to the "hit man" as payment.

An undercover FBI agent posed as a hit man named Chuey, the affidavit says, and the inmate gave Jones a telephone number to contact Chuey. Jones allegedly contacted Chuey twice on July 12th and made arrangements to meet in the food court at the Battlefield Mall.

Jones allegedly told the undercover agent that the CI

At that meeting, the affidavit says, Jones told the undercover agent he would pay him $1,500 to murder John Doe and provided the undercover agent with a photograph of John Doe, his home address, and $1,500 in cash.

When Jones thought the meeting was over, he was arrested.