Justice Dept indicts 3 in international murder-for-hire plot targeting Iranian dissident living in Maryland

Three men stand accused of devising a murder-for-hire plot in the U.S. against an Iranian dissident and a woman with whom the dissident fled, according to a recently unsealed federal indictment.

Justice Department prosecutors alleged Naji Sharifi Zindashti, working from Iran, orchestrated the international scheme over two years, from 2020 to 2021. They said in the indictment that he was planning to send a team of hired gunmen to target the two unnamed victims, both of whom lived in Maryland, but Zindashti’s plot was ultimately foiled.

Beginning in December 2020, investigators say Zindashti started communicating with Damion Patrick John Ryan, 43, of Canada, about an opportunity to make money. The next month, Ryan — a member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club — reached out to Adam Richard Pearson, 29, a Canadian national living illegally in Minnesota.

Read more: CBS News