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“Just put it in his ear and pull the trigger.”

Those were allegedly the words of Kevin Condren, who now sits in the Anoka County jail and has been charged with attempting to hire somebody to kill a business associate who owed him a large sum of money.

Condren, 62, was arrested Wednesday after authorities tracked him for nearly four months and charged him with conspiracy to commit premeditated murder, according to a criminal complaint filed in Anoka County District Court.

According to the complaint:

It all started in November when Condren asked a paralegal who worked for him at his Columbia Heights home if he did “odd jobs.”

Condren offered the paralegal $5,000 and a revolver to carry out the killing. About 10 days later Condren upped the amount to $10,000. He told the paralegal he wanted his associate shot in the ear.

The paralegal went to the police and arranged for an undercover officer posing as the hit man to meet Condren.

When Condren, who is not a lawyer, met with the officer in December, he said he wanted his business associate killed because the partner owed him $150,000.

Condren told the undercover officer that he was moving to Vietnam in August and wanted the murder to take place after he left the country.

He offered $7,000 and told the officer to “use a high-powered rifle given the victim’s size and eliminating the victim’s ability to fight back.” The meeting at an undisclosed restaurant was recorded with audio and video.

The officer met with the business associate, who believed that Condren “was capable of such a thing given their history and prior threats.”

The officer obtained his photo and showed it to Condren when the two met for a second time at the same restaurant.

During the meeting, Condren reconfirmed his desire to have his associate killed and that he would pay $7,000.

Condren told the officer he was going to Vietnam in January but would return to complete the sale of his house.

Then in February, the business associate reported to police “an unusual posting on his Facebook account.”

Law enforcement traced the entry to an internet address in Vietnam.

Police learned that Condren had subsequently returned to the United States but had an upcoming trip to China scheduled on Monday.

Based on multiple threats, Condren’s attempt to contact the victim and the upcoming flight, a warrant was issued for his arrest.

He was arrested at his home Wednesday night.

Tim Harlow • 612-673-7768