NEWTON, NJ—A Newton man who was charged in the attempted kidnapping and murder of a woman back in January of this year has pled guilty in Newark federal court according to an announcement made by the US Attorney’s office from the District of New Jersey.

Christopher Thieme, 36, of Sussex County pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to one count of attempted kidnapping and one count of murder-for-hire announced U.S Attorney Paul J. Fishman.

Thieme met the woman on an online dating service in November of 2015. They proceeded to go on two dates, after which the victim tried to break off contact, according to the law enforcement’s investigation.

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Thieme was looking for help from an “associate” whom he had sent pictures of the woman to and had multiple phone and text conversations with. The associate went to the police, alerting them to Thieme’s plans and helped with the investigation.

An undercover FBI agent posed as a hitman named “Danny” and met with Thieme in Newton. Thieme gave him $25,000, telling “Danny” that he had planned to just “empty the woman’s bank account and sell off her home fraudulently”, while the hitman held her for ransom.

However, there are recorded transcripts of Thieme telling the hitman that after [I] “take care of all the bank account stuff…then I’m gonna make it look like she had a heroin overdose.” On January 4, Thieme was taken into custody by law enforcement.

The attempted kidnapping charge carries a possible 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, while the murder-for-hire charge carries a possible 10 years in prison and another $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for September 21, 2016.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, with the investigation. He thanked members of the following Police Departments who assisted with the investigation:

  • Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office
  • The New Jersey State Police
  • The Newton Police Department
  • The Paramus Police Department
  • The Paterson Police Department
  • The Roxbury Police Department
  • The Wayne Police Department

“Along with several other agencies, we assigned one of our detectives to assist the FBI Special Agents with their investigation. We maintain a great working relationship with them and appreciate their efforts in this serious case involving a subject who was a resident of Newton,” said Newton Police Department Chief Michael Richards.