JUNE 12 (WILMINGTON, Del.) - Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced today the sentencing of one man on narcotics trafficking and attempted murder convictions, and the separate conviction of that man’s brother for using Facebook to threaten to kill a government witness during the narcotics trafficking and attempted murder trial.
William Boney, age 39, of Pike Creek, was sentenced to 220 months in prison today for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A), and 846; attempted murder by retaliating against an informant, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1513(a)(1)(B); and soliciting another person to retaliate against an informant by committing murder, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1513(a)(1)(B) and 373. In January 2013, a federal jury returned guilty verdicts against Boney after a one-week trial.
According to statements made at the sentencing hearing and documents filed in court, Boney was initially arrested on November 7, 2010, for attempting to broker a cocaine deal worth approximately $217,000 at his residence. Boney, however, was released to cooperate with the DEA in ongoing drug investigations. While released, Boney discovered the identity of a confidential informant who assisted the DEA with the investigation of the November 7, 2010 drug deal. Boney then began to plot that informant’s murder.
Unbeknownst to Boney, DEA agents uncovered the plot before Boney could find a “hit man” to kill the confidential informant. DEA agents then had a second confidential informant pose as a would-be “hit man” who was willing to kill the first confidential informant. Boney met with the purported “hit man” three times between May 22, 2011 and July 3, 2011. During these meetings, Boney discussed the details of killing the confidential informant, instructing the “hit man” to kill the informant’s young child if the informant was not present when the “hit man” broke into the informant’s home. Boney proposed to pay the “hit man” by having him also conduct home invasion robberies of those whom Boney believed had large amounts of cash or drugs in their residences. Evidence submitted at trial also showed that Boney was a long-time drug dealer, with two prior convictions for trafficking in marijuana.
John Francis Boney, Jr., age 35, of New Castle, pled guilty on June 4, 2013 to Interstate Transportation of Threats, after using Facebook to threaten to kill a government witness who was scheduled to testify at his brother, William Boney’s, federal narcotics trafficking and attempted murder trial. John Boney faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 18, 2013 by United States District Judge Sue L. Robinson, who presided over brother William Boney’s trial and sentenced William Boney to 220 months in prison earlier today.
According to statements made and documents filed in court, during a recorded prison phone call made in the weeks before his January 2013 narcotics trafficking and attempted murder trial, William Boney used an intermediary to inform his brother, John Boney, of the identity of a government witness whom William Boney believed would testify as a government witness during the trial.
John Boney attended the January 2013 trial of William Boney, which was held in the federal courthouse, in Wilmington. During the early days of the trial, John Boney learned that the government planned to call the witness identified by William Boney weeks earlier. On January 23, 2013, John Boney used a smartphone to post a message on Facebook threatening to kill the government witness who his brother, William Boney, had identified if that witness took the stand against William Boney.
On the morning of January 24, 2013, the government witness entered the federal building, but told court security officers that he would not report to Judge Sue L. Robinson’s courtroom to testify until he could speak with the federal agents involved in William Boney’s trial. The agents located the government witness on the lower level of the federal courthouse and learned that John Boney had posted a threat to kill the witness on Facebook the previous day.
The agents then responded to the courtroom in which the trial was occurring and removed John Boney from the audience. The agents also took custody of a smartphone that John Boney brought to the courthouse. On that phone, the agents found the Facebook message in which John Boney threatened to kill the government witness if that witness testified for the government. When confronted by the agents, John Boney admitted to posting the message.
Following the court proceedings, United States Attorney Oberly stated: “The protection of witnesses who walk into federal courtrooms to aid in the pursuit of criminal justice, as well as the families of those witnesses, is of paramount concern, and accordingly should expect to be prosecuted.”
Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge David G. Dongilli stated, “The sentence imposed by the court reflects the extreme seriousness of Mr. Boney’s efforts to kill a DEA confidential informant who was going to testify against him. I wish to thank all of the law enforcement agencies and prosecutors that, through their dedication and diligence successfully brought Mr. Boney to trial despite his efforts to subvert justice. DEA will not tolerate threats against witnesses and will continue to work closely with its law enforcement partners and prosecutors to investigate and prosecute individuals and organizations that threaten witnesses and their families.”These cases were investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jamie M. McCall, Ilana Eisenstein and Edward J. McAndrew.