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Costa Mesa Man Charged With Soliciting Murder of Co-Worker

Working-place rivalry apparently triggered an unsuccessful murder-for-hire scheme, Costa Mesa police said Thursday.

Sgt. Ron Smith said that a suspect has been arrested and another man is being questioned in an alleged solicitation for murder involving three employees of a Costa Mesa sporting-goods company.

The arrested man was identified as Juan Chavez Gomez, 32, of Costa Mesa. He was booked into the city’s jail on suspicion of solicitation for murder. Bail was set at $250,000.

Smith said that Raji Abou-Saad, 36, of Fullerton, who works at the same store as Gomez, told police on Wednesday that he had learned someone was trying to have him killed. Police investigated, and Gomez was arrested Thursday.

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Smith said that a third man who is also a store employee had been solicited to kill Abou-Saad by using some sort of explosive device. That employee is being questioned but has not been arrested, said Smith.

The alleged plot against Abou-Saad, said police, came because of “employee discontent stemming from his recent promotion” in the store.


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