Arizona man sentenced to prison for role in murder-for-hire plot

PHOENIX - Officials with the U.S. Attorney's Office say a man from Phoenix will spend eight-and-a-half years in prison for his role in a murder-for-hire plot that was connected to a child custody dispute.

Per a statement released May 1, 44-year-old Ali Joseph learned his fate after pleading guilty to Use of Interstate Commerce Facilities in the Commission of Murder for Hire on December 12, 2023. In between May and August 2022, Joseph had multiple contacts with a person who was described as a "Confidential Human Source" (CHS) for the FBI. At the time, Joseph was involved in "contentious child-custody proceedings with the victim."

"In these communications with the CHS, Joseph revealed that he was unwilling to share custody of his children with the victim because he believed her to be an ‘apostate’ who would not raise his children on ‘the right path,’ and he expressed his desire to have her murdered," read a portion of the statement.

<strong>(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)</strong>
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

The CHS later introduced Joseph to a person who Joseph initially believed was a hitman. That person was actually an undercover with the FBI.

"Joseph offered to pay the 'hitman' $3,000 to disguise himself as a homeless person who would attempt to rob and violently attack the victim as she left her workplace. Joseph provided the CHS with a $1,000 down payment along with a piece of paper containing photographs of the victim and her identifying information," investigators wrote. "Joseph told the CHS that he wanted the ‘hitman’ to stab the victim in the neck to ensure she would not survive the attack, and asked the CHS to notify him when the murder was completed by sending him a funny photo or short video."

Per officials, Joseph will be placed on three years of supervised release after his prison term ends.