1. News
  2. /
  3. Crime

He hired a hitman to kill his brother with a $160 down payment, Pinellas deputies say

Gary Hudge also offered to buy the hitman a bus ticket, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Gary Hudge, 54, paid an undercover detective to kill his brother, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. [Pinellas County jail]
Gary Hudge, 54, paid an undercover detective to kill his brother, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. [Pinellas County jail]
Published Jan. 17
Updated Jan. 17

ST. PETE BEACH ⁠— A 54-year-old man made a $160 down payment to hire a hitman to kill his brother, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

But the hitman was actually an undercover detective. Gary Hudge was arrested Thursday on a charge of solicitation to commit murder, deputies say.

Hudge met the detective amid an undercover drug investigation, said sheriff’s Deputy Travis Sibley, a spokesman for the agency. During a Nov. 7 conversation, he said he was interested in hiring the detective to kill his brother, 57-year-old Thomas Hudge, because the two were at odds over financial matters.

Over several meetings around St. Pete Beach, Gary Hudge suggested how and where the murder should happen. He provided multiple Michigan addresses for his brother and offered to pay for a bus ticket, according to his arrest report.

He also offered the detective a .25-caliber handgun and money, according to the report, “to show his sincerity at having his brother murdered,” according to a statement from the Sheriff’s Office.

In their last meeting on Thursday, deputies said Gary Hudge paid an initial fee of $160 cash to the hitman. Detectives then took him into custody. The other terms of the deal were not released by the Sheriff’s Office.

Hudge, who court records list as transient in the Treasure Island area, also faces charges of possession of a controlled substance and sale of a controlled substance. He’s accused of selling an undercover detective two doses of the painkiller Suboxone, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

He was being held Friday in the Pinellas County jail in lieu of $62,000 bail.


  1. Police say Terrence Hoover, right, broke into a $4 million Vinoy Place condo on Jan. 17. The penthouse is owned by Scott Swift, left, the father of supererstar Taylor Swift.
  2. Former Port Richey mayor Dale Massad heads to trial Feb. 24 on five charges of attempted murder. He fired upon SWAT team members who were arresting him on a warrant at his home, but his attorneys will argue it is a stand your ground case.
  3. Robert Nathaniel Bacon, 54, left, was arrested on a felony charge of operating a drug house in addition to a charge of methamphetamine possession.
Martin Skelly, 41, was arrested on multiple drug charges, including possessing and selling methamphetamine and heroin with 1,000 feet of a school.
  4. Daniel Lee Martin performs during a 1999 benefit concert at Coachman Park in Clearwater. Martin was found dead Friday at his New Port Richey home.
  5. Deputies are looking for a shirtless man who stole a gun from a pickup truck near Plant City on Friday morning and later fired rounds at a convenience store.
  6. David Lee Fogg, Jr., 36, faces charges of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
  7. Two men used a sledgehammer to punch a hole through the wall of a Metro PCS Store in an attempt to burglarize the business Thursday in Tampa.
  8. Pasco County Sheriff's deputies said dental assistant Edwin Alvis, 37, sexually assaulted an 18-year-old patient who he was preparing for wisdom teeth-removal surgery.
  9. Matthew R. White, who ran a Tampa-based company, M.W. Global Futures, has pleaded guilty in federal court in the state of Washington to one count of wire fraud in connection with soliciting a total of $1.29 million from investors in Florida and Washington and misappropriating the funds from 2011 to 2018. He is scheduled to be sentenced April 10. [Dreamstime | TNS]
  10. Christopher Reddick faces charges of aggravated child abuse with great bodily harm, child neglect with great bodily harm, carrying a concealed firearm and possession of a firearm with a serial number removed.
  11. Michael Benson, 48, of Oldsmar faces a felony charge of video voyeurism, a Class 3 Felony.
  12. Ahmad Weston, left, and Charleston Long are awaiting trial in federal court. They are accused of running a drug ring out of their mother's apartment in a downtown St. Pete senior complex.