73-year-old Robert Arcieri was charged and booked In June for suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder, burglary, theft, armed robbery, detaining a person in a house of prostitution, and possession and sale of a narcotic drug. But not because he recently committed these crimes, because he did so over 20 years before faking his own death.
In 1987 Arcieri was awaiting trail for fraud, racketeering and conspiracy to commit murder for his involvement in hiring 3 hit men to kill former associates. Police say he was a versatile and prolific criminal, allegedly involved in assaults, burglaries, murders, the drug trade and prostitution. Arcieri had his hands in almost all aspects of crime and was very talented at hiding his tracks, however his luck soon ran out.
One of the hit-men Arcieri hired to carry out a hit was an informant for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. Michael Sanders was the man working with police to bring down Robert Arcieri, he was a bounty hunter with a criminal record and he posed as one of Arcieri's would be hit-men. Sanders reported to police how Arcieri planned the murders and offered to pay each man $50,000 a piece to carry it out.
This lead to the indictment of Arcieri and 3 others involved in planning the hit, but Arcieri (then 47-years-old) wasn't planning on going to jail. According to court records he declared bankruptcy and starting opening accounts under an assumed name while awaiting trail. Then in January of 1987 Arcieri was out on a fishing trip with his nephew and two friends at the Colorado River near Page. He began expressing concern about the alcohol he drank interacting with his pain medication.
The men then headed back to the dock after dark when Arcieri claimed he was feeling dizzy. Once docked Arcieri allegedly became disoriented and he grabbed his chest with one hand and his nephew with the other, then they both fell backwards into the water. His nephew then emerged back to shore safely, but not Arcieri, he disappeared.
Police and divers combed the waters for days looking for Arcieri's body, but found nothing. According to records of the water currents and water bed maps, if Arcieri's body was there, they would of found it, however they turned up nothing. Police were not convinced that Arcieri was dead, but had no proof either way. As time went by, insurance companies were forced to declare him dead and pay over a million dollars in life-insurance to his wife. But now as it turns out, the police were right all along.
Acting on a tip by another criminal informant, Phoenix police found Arcieri in Palm Springs alive and well. Apparently Arcieri changed his identity to Frank Reynolds and went to Spokane, Washington were he took a job manufacturing prefabricated homes. There he met a woman who he later married starting his new second life. They later moved to California near his two daughters which he claimed were his nieces. But his little ruse didn't last forever.
Last Wednesday he pleaded guilty to 2 counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder, 3 counts of conspiracy to commit burglary and 1 count of armed robbery from 1987. Arcieri in addition plead guilty to a count of fraud for his disappearance and faked death. He is facing over 10 years in prison, and he will be sentenced March.
Man sentenced after he faked his death - Phoenix Cannabis Culture | Examiner.com