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Salyersville man charged in murder plot

A Salyersville man is charged in what a federal agent describes as a murder-for-hire plot against a person in Huntington, W.Va.

Robert H. Barnett, 70, is accused of giving an undercover agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives $5,000 and an illegal machine gun, a pistol and two silencers, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's office in Lexington.

In an affidavit, ATF special agent Jesse R. Hooker said Barnett called him for a meeting last Thursday in Mount Sterling, where they discussed the murder plot.

Barnett gave Hooker $5,000, a Cobray 9 mm machine gun, a .22 caliber pistol and ammunition, and promised Hooker $4,000 more on completion of the slaying.

Barnett, who was arrested Friday, is charged with causing another to travel in interstate commerce with intent to commit murder. He is also charged with unlawful possession of and transfer of the machine gun.

Barnett is scheduled for a detention hearing at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in federal court in Lexington.

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