The U.S. Attorney’s Office has handed down a four-count indictment that leaves Marathon resident Dennis Zecca with a lot more charges — and possible life sentences — to answer for at his Monday court appearance in Key West.
Zecca, co-owner of the Marathon Marina and Boatyard, was already charged with murder for hire, accused of attempting to pay $20,000 or a kilo of cocaine for the murder of Marathon Realtor Bruce Schmitt. The other charges contained in the indictment: conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, attempt to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, transfer of a firearm to a convicted felon.
U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Annette Castillo said that Zecca is scheduled for a 2 p.m. arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lurana Snow.
If convicted, Zecca faces the possibility of life in prison on each cocaine charge. The indictment states that each "involved five kilograms or more of cocaine."
The maximum penalty for murder for hire and transfer of a firearm to a convicted felon is 10 years each in prison.
The indictment also calls for some of Zecca’s property to be seized, including a Beretta 92FS 9mm pistol — the gun authorities say Zecca gave to an informant whom Zecca believed would kill Schmitt —a Smith and Wesson .40-caliber pistol, and a Toyota Tundra pickup.
The FBI and prosecutors allege Zecca attempted to pay a Marathon Marina and Boatyard employee — the informant, a convicted felon — to kill Schmitt but they have not said what the motive was.
The arrangement apparently was made outside of a 10-kilo cocaine deal Zecca reportedly was trying to set up with the informant. The feds say Schmitt had no role in that.
The hit was supposed to take place while Schmitt left a Christmas party.
Zecca was arrested on Dec. 21 after the informant showed Zecca a doctored photo of Schmitt lying in a pool of blood as proof Schmitt was dead. Zecca was then arrested when he told the informant he was going to get $5,000 of the $20,000 payment.
Zecca was denied bond at a Dec. 28 hearing at which Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Coats said the informant was offered a bribe and threatened by Zecca associates following Zecca’s arrest.
A search of Zecca’s Indigo Reef condo in Marathon turned up a safe containing four handguns, four rifles, two shotguns, "a large quantity of ammunition" and $42,600 in cash, Snow’s detention order says.
Zecca’s wife Mary worked as a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker Schmitt, which is owned by Bruce Schmitt’s family. She was fired after her husband’s arrest.