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Man guilty in murder-for-hire scheme

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

A local insurance agent and onetime candidate for the Indian Prairie School District 204 Board of Education faces a potential 20-year prison term, after admitting to being the middleman in a plot to murder a federal prosecutor and a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent.

Jack Mann, who called himself the “Always Available Insurance Guy,” was convicted of 11 felony, misdemeanor and traffic crimes between 1986 and 1999. He is scheduled to be sentenced in February in U.S. Northern District of Indiana Court in Hammond for his role in the murder-for-hire scheme.

Mann, 42, last lived on the 5300 block of Prairie Sage Lane, in the High Meadows area of Naperville’s far southwest side. He pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of solicitation to commit murder, and admitted the facts contained in an 18-page plea agreement.

A business associate, Frank Caira, approached Mann in August or September 2009 about a pending federal narcotics case. Caira “suggested that he was looking for someone to get rid of” an assistant U.S. attorney and a DEA agent who figured in that matter, the plea agreement read in part.

Mann, at Caira’s suggestion, contacted a street gang member, asking if he would execute the two men, the agreement stated. The gang member agreed to do so for six kilograms of cocaine, according to the agreement.

The gang member and Mann held a meeting in late November or early December, during which Mann placed a telephone call to Caira, the agreement continued. Caira gave Mann the names of the targets and that of his attorney, saying he was unhappy with his lawyer’s work in his behalf and wanted the attorney’s dog killed, too, the agreement stated.

Mann later told Caira the gang member was trying to find the homes of the assistant U.S. attorney and DEA agent. Mann on Dec. 15 sent Caira a text message, saying the hit man was ready to kill the men and the dog, according to the agreement.

The gang member, unbeknownst to Mann or Caira, disclosed the plot to his lawyer who, in turn, contacted federal authorities. The attorney wore a wire during a Dec. 27 meeting with Mann, who discussed the plot at length.

Mann’s criminal history was also documented in the agreement. It includes a June 1999 felony theft conviction, for which he was sentenced to four months in DuPage County Jail and three years of probation and assessed a $26,880 fine.

He was also convicted between 1986 and 1993 in DuPage County of theft by deception, possession of cannabis, unlawful use of weapons, criminal damage to state-supported land, drunken driving and five other charges.

Mann ran an unsuccessful 2006 campaign for election to the District 204 school board, and won a million-dollar civil lawsuit six years ago. He also freely admitted in a June 2009 Naperville Sun story to removing fixtures and trim from a house he owned in Naperville that was in foreclosure.

Mann remains in federal custody. Caira, 40, of Downers Grove, is scheduled to be tried Nov. 29 by a jury on a charge of solicitation to commit a crime of violence.

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