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By PEGGY SINKOVICH



Published: Fri, June 24, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- A city man who told police that Atty. Maridee Costanzo wanted him to hire a hitman to kill her estranged husband has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of illegal possession of a weapon.

William D. Cindea appeared Thursday in Judge David D. Dowd Jr.'s courtroom and pleaded guilty to the charge, according to federal court records.

He remains free on $20,000 bond.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Sept. 28.

Atty. David Jack of Akron, Cindea's attorney, could not be reached.

Cindea faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to a spokesman with the U.S. attorney's office.

Cindea was arrested on the weapons charge in May, about a month after he told federal officials Costanzo wanted him to arrange the murder of her estranged husband Atty. Roger Bauer.

Prior conviction

The indictment states that Cindea, who was convicted Jan. 7, 1993, in Lawrence County, Pa., of the manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, did knowingly possess a firearm. Since Cindea was convicted of a prior felony, he is prohibited from having a firearm.

The indictment noted that Cindea had a .22-Magnum revolver, a .38-caliber revolver and ammunition.

The weapons and ammunition were found in Cindea's possession when he was arrested in March, along with Costanzo, a few blocks from Bauer's home.

Costanzo had one of the weapons tucked in her pants. Costanzo pleaded guilty last week in Judge Dowd's courtroom to a charge of use of interstate commerce facilities in commission of murder for hire. She is scheduled to be sentenced in August and faces up to 10 years in prison.

Costanzo also faces several charges in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court. She has pleaded innocent to two counts of carrying concealed weapons, improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle, two counts of tampering with evidence and two counts of obstructing justice.

Cindea is facing a misdemeanor weapon charge in Warren Municipal Court. His next hearing in that court is scheduled for Aug. 5.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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