HOUSTON – A man accused of trying to hire a hit man to kill a Houston police officer appeared in court Thursday.
Mohammed Mohamed, 47, is being held in Houston Police Department Southeast Jail on a $1 million bond, charged with solicitation of capital murder.
According to anonymous sources, the target of the hit was a patrol officer stationed on the east side.
Investigators were alerted in May and early June of someone shopping for a hit man.
Houston police Chief Art Acevedo said in a news conference Tuesday that Mohamed, who owned a shipping business in east Houston, wanted the officer killed because he believed the officer was interfering with his business operations.
Acevedo said Mohamed was given several penalties and tickets by the officer for too many vehicles parked on his property. He was fined for city ordinance violations in the neighborhood of $2,000.
Police said Mohamed wanted the officer to be "disabled" by paying someone to throw acid in his face, but due to Mohamed receiving more tickets, he wanted the officer dead.
Acevedo said Mohamed met with someone he thought was a hit man, but who actually was an undercover police officer, covering his face with a baseball cap and bandanna. Police said Mohamed covered his face because he did not want to be extorted by the hit man.
Acevedo said Mohamed made many statements to kill the officer and agreed to pay the hit man $2,000 in cash to get the job done. Acevedo said Mohamed told the undercover cop that he did not want to meet with him to pay the deposit until Ramadan was over.
Police said Mohamed met with the undercover cop and paid him $500 in cash and the $1,500 balance would be paid on the execution of the hit.
Investigators staged the officer's death, took pictures of the officer looking like he was "dead" and staged it to look like a robbery. Acevedo said the officer was not in uniform when the murder was staged.
"Staged pictures showing the Officer's lifeless body in the ditch showed the confidential informant the pictures along with a staged police identification card. Officer Salazar to Mohammed for proof of the killing which Mohamed was told by the confidential informant was meant to look like a robbery," prosecutors said in court Thursday.
Acevedo said Mohamed met with the undercover officer and was pleased with the pictures.
Because of danger, Houston SWAT team took Mohamed down and found $1,500 cash on him during his arrest at Peiser Park on Monday.
If Mohamed makes the $1 million bond he is ordered to have no contact with HPD officers, no access to firearms, wear a GPS monitor and he must surrender his passport, the judge said.
According to Mohamed's attorney, Mohamed, who has lived in Harris County for 12 years, has a wife and five children. The oldest child is 13, and the youngest is 13 weeks old. Mohamed is the sole provider for his family, his attorney said.