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Strip club owner indicted in alleged murder-for-hire plot against mayor

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Ryan Grant, owner of the Flashdancer Cabaret, agreed to shut the club's doors for one year in order to settle a lawsuit with Arlington city officials.

A Texas strip-club owner accused of hiring a hit man to kill Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck and attorney Tom Brandt was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday.

According to an FBI criminal complaint, Grant, of Kennedale, offered to pay $10,000 for each murder.

Grant, 34, was reportedly angry with Cluck and the attorney after he agreed to close his strip club, Flashdancer Cabaret, for one year in order to settle a nuisance lawsuit filed by the city and the Texas attorney general.


Read the original report at NBCDFW.com

Grant sought to hire two Mexican hit men to kill Cluck and Brandt, according to affidavits. Court documents say that Grant went so far as to set up a meeting at which he met with a man about the murder-for-hire plot and provided pictures of Cluck and Brandt.

"Obviously, he's very, very, angry, and when I heard the facts from the FBI, obviously we were very concerned about it," Cluck said in April. "We're still concerned, but he is in federal custody and will remain that way for the foreseeable future."

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FBI Special Agent Matthew Wilkins testified during a detention hearing that an informant had contact with Grant on at least four occasions, beginning on April 3, and that there are audio and video recordings of some of those conversations.

According to the indictment, "during the next few days, Grant and the intermediary spoke via cell phones, and during those conversations Grant directed the intermediary to not proceed with the murders until they could meet to discuss the matter further. 

On April 9, 2012, the intermediary and Grant met at Grant's residence, where Grant confirmed that he wanted Mayor Cluck killed.  The intermediary left Grant's residence and Grant was arrested shortly thereafter."

Grant was arrested April 9, the same day he had ordered the hits on Cluck and Brandt.

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At the time of his arrest, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Grant's home and seized 22 firearms and nearly $150,000 in cash.

Grant now faces one count of murder-for-hire and one count of the unlawful transfer of a firearm for giving a Norinco semi-automatic rifle to an individual he knew to be a felon.

If convicted, each count carries a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The investigation is being conducted by the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

NBCDFW.com's Scott Gordon, Randy McIlwain and Ben Russell contributed to this report.

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