ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis Blues forward Mike Danton was arrested Friday in an alleged murder-for-hire scheme, the FBI said.
Danton, 23, was arrested at the airport in San Jose, Calif., after the Blues were knocked out of the NHL playoffs in a loss to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday. TSN has learned that Danton will be in a San Jose holding cell through the weekend with plans to transfer him to St. Louis early next week.
According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Illinois, Danton told a female friend that a hitman from Canada was coming to kill him and asked the woman if she knew someone who would kill the person for $10,000.
The woman, identified as Katie Wolfmeyer, passed his call to another man, described in the complaint as a ``co-operating witness.''
The FBI witness and Danton spoke again on Thursday, and Danton allegedly hatched a plot where the witness could kill the ``hitman'' at Danton's apartment and make it look like two burglars had broken in, one being killed and the other making off with $3,000 Danton had in a safe.
The complaint alleges that Danton actually was trying to kill a male acquaintance after an argument Tuesday in which the two fought over Danton's ``promiscuity and use of alcohol.'' The complaint said Danton feared the acquaintance, who is not named, would talk to St. Louis Blues management and ruin Danton's career.
In a telephone call recorded by authorities, the acquaintance asked why Danton wanted to kill him. According to the complaint, Danton broke down and sobbed, and explained that he ordered the killing because he ``felt the acquaintance was going to leave him.''
Authorities said Friday they have no reason to believe that the acquaintance or anyone else had been planning to kill Danton. ``We couldn't confirm that to be accurate,'' said Marshall Stone, supervisory FBI special agent in Springfield, Ill.
Danton and Wolfmeyer, 19, both face federal murder-for-hire charges.
"I spoke with Mike at length today and he is doing as well as can be expected under the present circumstances and we intend on helping him in anyway possible," Danton's agent David Frost told TSN Friday. "We do not yet have all the facts in, and since this is a legal matter, I cannot comment on the specifics of his case yet."
A spokesman for the Blues, Frank Buonomo, declined to comment Friday, saying in a statement, ``The matter is in the hands of law enforcement officials and the judicial system.''
Danton, formerly known as Mike Jefferson, was suspended twice by the New Jersey Devils, who eventually traded him to St. Louis last June. He had seven goals, 12 points and 141 penalty minutes in 68 games this season with the Blues.