Raleigh, North Carolina, Nov 2 (IBNS) Twenty-two-year-old Shkumbin Sherifi and 47-year-old Nevine Elsheikh of Raleigh, pleaded guilty on Thursday before Senior U.S. District Judge W. Earl Britt to conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire, announced Thomas G. Walker, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
On January 20, a criminal complaint for conspiring to commit murder was issued by a U.S. magistrate judge, and the arrests of Sherifi and Elsheikh followed on January 22.
A federal grand jury sitting in the Eastern District of North Carolina returned an indictment on February 21, charging Shkumbin Sherifi, Nevine Elsheikh, and Shkumbin's brother, Hysen Sherifi, with conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire and related charges.
Hysen Sherifi was previously convicted on terrorism charges in 2011 and sentenced to 45 years in January.
According to the indictment, beginning in December 2011 through January 22, 2012, Shkumbin Sherifi and Nevine Elsheikh conspired with each other and Hysen Sherifi to commit murder-for-hire.
The object of the murder-for-hire was to retaliate against witnesses who provided testimony in Hysen Sherifi's 2011 trial and prevent their testimony in the subsequent trial of co-defendant Anes Subasic.
At sentencing, Sherifi and Elsheikh face a potential of 10 years in prison, followed by up to three years of supervised release, for knowingly participating in the conspiracy.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI Resident Agencies in Raleigh and Wilmington, North Carolina, with the assistance of the New Hanover County, N.C., Sheriff's Office.
The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys J. Frank Bradsher and Brian S. Meyers of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina and Trial Attorney Matthew F. Blue of the Counterterrorism Section in the Justice Department's National Security Division.