Murder for hire suspect returns to Lubbock

Published: May. 13, 2014 at 7:59 PM CDT
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Adam Rico, 26 (Source: U.S. Marshals Service)
Adam Rico, 26 (Source: U.S. Marshals Service)
Coty Garcia, 21 (Source: Lubbock County Sheriff's Office)
Coty Garcia, 21 (Source: Lubbock County Sheriff's Office)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A suspect in a murder for hire plot against a Lubbock sheriff's deputy returned to Lubbock on Tuesday.

Adam Rico, 26, was arrested by U.S. Marshals in New Mexico last week.

"This started on May 6 when Lubbock Police Department Gang Intelligence officers intercepted an individual and during the course of interviewing him come to discover that he had on his possession one of our deputy's home addresses," said Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe. "Ultimately, he admitted that he had been paid to make a hit on that deputy and was intent on committing that offense."

That man was 21-year-old Coty Garcia. A statement from the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office says Adam Rico, 26, hired Coty Garcia, 21, to "cause harm to the deputy and/or his family for the sum of $500."

Garcia was arrested on unrelated charges but the Lubbock Sheriff's Office says he did intend to fulfill the contract at the time of his arrest.

Garcia's statements and evidence found by the Sheriff's Office led to Rico's arrest in Albuquerque, NM on Tuesday.

"Once he was located we discovered he was in Albuquerque," said Sheriff Rowe. "Once we got that information we contacted the U.S. Marshall's Service. they immediately put I think it was 12 deputy marshals on the job who immediately located him at a hotel and took him into custody without incident."

Rico is being held on murder for hire charges. He is also charged with arson of a habitation and aggravated assault on a police officer. He's awaiting extradition back to Lubbock with bond set at $5 million.

"He's going through the extradition process now. We'll wait to see when he'll be returned to Lubbock. At that point investigators will continue and we'll determine what all charges will be filed and get those taken care of," said Sheriff Rowe.

"We'll let it run its complete course," Rowe said. "We're going to run down every associate tied to Mr. Rico to make sure there's nothing else out there at this point. I think our investigators believe there's probably more than just these two involved in this, so we're going to let them run all those angles out and then once they have a total picture of what all has been taking place then they'll make a determination of what all charges to file."

Rowe says threats against peace officers are normal but with a credible threat like this, he's happy it was resolved quickly.

"Nobody's going to make it through a career in law enforcement without having received some degree of retaliatory threats, but usually that's just exactly what they are. This one, however, we discovered immediately to be very credible."

"We do believe we had an actor that was committed to fulfilling the contract and from that point that's why we reacted the way we did," Rowe said.

"I can't express enough appreciation to not only the police department for their efforts but the U.S. Marshal's service as well for how quickly they jumped into action when we called on them. That means a tremendous amount. They got us in a position that we were able to have this resolved in less than 48 hours and have this individual in custody."

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