March 28, 2014
Contact: Public Information Officer
MAR 28 (OTSEGO, N.Y.) – Acting Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration James J. Hunt and Otsego County Sheriff Richard J. Devlin, Jr. announced an Oneonta man was arrested for agreeing to pay an undercover DEA agent to murder another person and requesting that undercover agent to commit the crime of murder of a second individual. The three week joint investigation was conducted by the Otsego County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division and the Drug Enforcement Administration Albany District Office with assistance from the New York State Department of Financial Services Criminal Investigations Unit.
Otsego Sheriff's Office investigators received information that inmate Maxie Godfrey was asking other inmates about hiring someone to murder another person. Investigators contacted the DEA Albany District Office and they supplied an undercover agent who posed as a hired hit man. The undercover agent met with inmate Godfrey in the Otsego County Corrections Facility (OCCF) on several occasions and Godfrey requested the murder of two female victims.
Earlier this week Godfrey's case was presented to the Grand Jury and he was indicted on the above felony charges. Yesterday afternoon, investigators and special agents arrested Godfrey, who is presently incarcerated in the OCCF on $10,000 bail on attempted criminal sexual act in the first degree and several misdemeanor domestic violence charges. He was arraigned by County Court Judge Brian D. Burns and returned to the OCCF without bail. If convicted Godfrey faces up to 32 years in state prison. District Attorney John M. Muehl is prosecuting the case.
DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt stated, "DEA investigations focus on drug law enforcement's goal, which is to arrest those who traffic illegal drugs while depriving citizens the right to live in a community without fear, intimidation and violence. The versatile investigative methods used in this investigation led to the arrest of Maxie Godfrey on criminal conspiracy in the second degree and criminal solicitation in the second degree while he was already behind bars facing sexual assault charges. To eliminate witnesses to his previous crime, Godfrey unknowingly hired an undercover DEA special agent who portrayed himself as a 'murder for hire' hit man and offered to pay him illegal drugs for services rendered. I applaud the Otsego County Sheriff's Office who spearheaded this investigation with collaboration from the Otsego County District Attorney's Office, the NYS Department of Financial Services Criminal Investigations Unit and the DEA Albany District Office."
Sheriff Richard J. Devlin, Jr. said, "When I first learned about the case, I hate to say it but I wasn't stunned. I also hate to say that our investigators have even worked similar cases. I'm proud of the work our investigators put into this current case, as I feel they could have clearly averted a disaster. Their dedication and endless hours are well appreciated. I'm also extremely proud of the law enforcement partnership that was instrumental in working this case. The DEA played an important and crucial role that will not be forgotten. You can well imagine that these cases are not only difficult to investigate, but they are more difficult to deal with emotionally."