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Former BOP Guard Convicted, Sentenced in Murder-for-Hire Case

Michael Eugene Rudkin, 41, a former BOP guard employed at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Danbury, Connecticut, apparently did not learn his lesson following his first conviction.

In 2008, Rudkin pleaded guilty to engaging in oral sex with a female prisoner at FCI Danbury in exchange for candy, cigarettes and alcohol. He had also plotted with the prisoner to kill his wife, offering her $5,000 from his wife’s life insurance policy. Rudkin was charged after the prisoner gave investigators a cup that she had been using to save his semen. As a result, he received a 180-month prison sentence. [See: PLN, May 2009, p.1].

While serving his sentence at FCI Coleman in Florida, Rudkin solicited other prisoners to find someone willing to kill his ex-wife, her new boyfriend, the female prisoner he had sex with at FCI Danbury, and a federal investigator.

Rudkin gave one of the prisoners a handwritten note that listed the locations of each of the victims and how he wanted them to suffer. As a down payment, he mailed $500 from his prison account to the “hit man.”

He was subsequently charged with a multitude of offenses, including attempted murder of an employee of the United States, attempted retaliation against a witness by murder, and use of mail and an interstate commerce facility with intent to commit murder-for-hire. He was convicted on all counts following a jury trial in April 2010.

Rudkin was sentenced to 1,080 months (90 years) in prison for the murder-for-hire plot on July 16, 2010, to run consecutive to his prior federal sentence and to be followed by 3 years on supervised release, assuming he lives that long. See: United States v. Rudkin, U.S.D.C. (M.D. Fla.), Case No. 5:09-cr-00049-MSS-TBS.

Rudkin appealed his convictions, which were affirmed by the Eleventh Circuit on May 27, 2011; the Court of Appeals rejected his argument that he had been “entrapped” by other prisoners, who acted as the government’s agents, and had only played along with the murder-for-hire plot. “The evidence adduced at trial showed that Rudkin initiated the contact regarding the murder for hire and tenaciously pursued the [hit-man] contact that his fellow inmates procured for him,” the appellate court stated. See: United States v. Rudkin, 427 Fed.Appx. 824 (11th Cir. 2011).

This case draws some interesting parallels to another recent case involving a BOP guard, employed at FCI Coleman, who was convicted of arranging an assault that resulted in a prisoner’s murder (see related article in this issue of PLN, pg. 44).

Additional source: Orlando Sentinel

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Related legal cases

United States v. Rudkin

United States v. Rudkin