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Two women plead guilty in murder-for-hire

Two local women haves pleaded guilty in the murder-for-hire against an ex-husband and his new spouse. The U.S. Attorney's Office says 57-year-old Debra Arno, formerly of Amherst, is facing a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $125,000 fine. The person hired by Arno, 57-year-old Lauren Frye of Buffalo, is facing a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Authorities say it began in May 2015. Kenmore Police received a tip about a murder for hire plan against Arno’s ex-husband and his current wife. East Aurora Police helped identify the intended victims.

Police searched Frye's home and seized a number of items, including multiple letters between the two women describing the crime, photos of the intended victims, a diagram of their residence and a schedule of their activities. The price for the two murders was $20,000.

During the search of Frye’s home, officers also seized two cellular telephones and three shotguns. Authorities say the cellular telephones revealed extensive text messaging between Arno and Frye, with Arno repeatedly imploring Frye to get the murder done.

The two women will be sentenced in March before U.S. District Court Judge Richard Arcara.