BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) – A Strafford man on Monday admitted he tried to hire a man to kill a witness against him in a drug case.

Richard E. Moses Jr., 40, pleaded guilty in the middle of his trial on attempted murder and drug trafficking charges. As part of the plea deal, he faces 20 to 25 years in prison.

He is accused of plotting to murder the witness since shortly after he was arraigned on cocaine trafficking charges in December of 2005.

According to court records, federal agents recorded several phone conversations in which Moses allegedly negotiated the murder with a Drug Enforcement Administration Agent and agreed to pay $7,000 for the killing.

He was arrested after prosecutors say he provided the agent with $3,500 and a photograph of the intended victim.

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