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Man held in plot to kill woman

A mortgage broker was arrested Monday after he agreed to pay someone he thought was a hit man $10,000 to kill his former girlfriend to gain full custody of their 5-year-old son, authorities said Wednesday.

The supposed contract killer was actually an undercover Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigator, so after Daniel Villanueva Patino, 30, met with him Monday at a Santa Ana fast-food restaurant, he was arrested on suspicion of solicitation of murder, said department spokesman Jim Amormino.

Patino allegedly wanted the supposed hit man to follow his former girlfriend to a party and stage a fatal traffic accident afterward to make it look as if she had been drinking and driving. He appeared in court Wednesday and was being held on $1-million bail.

-- Tony Barboza

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