Woman accused of hiring hit man to kill ex
Post Independent Staff
A former Glenwood Springs resident was arrested by FBI agents at a Denver hotel Thursday after she allegedly tried to hire a hit man to kill her ex-husband.
Gwen Bergman, 47, was charged with use of mail and an interstate commerce facility in the commission of murder for hire, a federal felony.
If convicted, Bergman faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years supervised probation.
According to an arrest affidavit written by FBI special agent Todd Wilcox, Bergman tried to set up a hit on her ex-husband. He also lived in Glenwood Springs when the couple was together, but he now lives in Aspen.
Bergman first tried to set up the scheme on March 24 by calling Jerry Eden, owner and operator of a personal security company in Miami, Fla.
According to the affidavit, Bergman told Eden that her ex-husband threatened to kill her 6-year-old son.
Eden set her up with ex-Denver police officer Peter Adams for security. The two met at a hotel in Golden.
“After a short time, Bergman asked Adams to drive her to Aspen, Colo., to show her where (her ex-husband) lived,” the affidavit said.
During the drive, Bergman asked Adams if she could make her ex-husband “go away.”
“Adams told Bergman that he would not do anything illegal,” the affidavit said.
Later, Bergman asked Eden if he could “eliminate the problem,” the affidavit said.
Eden told her he’d talk to his associates and see how much the hit would cost.
He also suggested she purchase a prepaid cellular phone so she couldn’t be traced, the affidavit said.
“Eden then contacted the authorities in Colorado,” the affidavit said.
Those authorities were the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
That call by Eden, placed on March 28, led to the FBI opening an investigation into the case, and almost all subsequent phone calls were recorded by FBI agents in Miami.
The next time Bergman called Eden, he said it would cost $30,000 to have her ex-husband killed.
She agreed to the price and she told him she’d have to take out a loan on her mother’s house.
Eden told her she should travel to Biloxi, Miss., then claim they lost the money there so authorities wouldn’t trace it to the hit.
Eden agreed to help Bergman find a hit man, but she first must send him a $1,000 U.S. Postal Service money order.
On March 30, Bergman called Eden and said the money would be sent, the affidavit said.
Eden asked Bergman several times throughout the negotiations if she was sure she wanted to have her ex-husband killed. Each time she said yes, the affidavit said.
Eden next asked Bergman to put her ex-husband’s address, picture and $29,000 in cash in a package to give to the hit man.
“On April 1, 2004, Eden received a $1,000 U.S. Postal money order from Bergman in a U.S. Postal Service Express Mail package,” the affidavit said. The package, which was opened by the FBI, was postmarked on March 30, 2004, from Glenwood Springs.
Bergman called Eden, who told her he had received the $1,000 money order and the hit “is a go.”
She again affirmed that she wanted the hit to happen and that she was “definitely afraid of him,” the affidavit said.
On April 5, an undercover Aurora police officer ” who was pretending to be the hit man ” called Bergman on her cell phone and arranged a meeting with her.
On April 8, the undercover officer met Bergman at the Quality Inn near the Peoria Street exit of Interstate 70 in Denver.
The officer asked if she had the package; she said she did.
“At the conclusion of the meeting, (the undercover officer) told Bergman that he would call her cell phone and let it ring once to indicate that he had finished the job,” the affidavit said.
After Bergman left the hotel room, she was arrested without incident, the affidavit said.
Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511
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