When Mike Gowan, an undercover coordinator for the FBI, infiltrated the life of Everett resident Joseph Burke, he had no idea of the events that were to follow. Interestingly, once Mike earned Joseph’s trust, the latter opened up about his financial issues and even claimed he was ready to become a hitman if it would keep him from going bankrupt. Paramount+’s ‘FBI True: The Hitman’ chronicles the incident and follows the investigation that ultimately led to Joseph’s arrest. Well, let’s study the details surrounding the case and find out where Joseph Burke is at present, shall we?
Who Is Joseph Burke?
Although not much is known about Joseph Burke’s early life, reports do talk about his lengthy criminal record. Joseph got in trouble with the law for the first time in 1988 when he was arrested after being accused of robbery. The evidence against him was overwhelming, and Joseph was eventually convicted of robbery before being sentenced to 5 years and three months in prison in the same year. Unfortunately, Joseph Burke could not keep away from criminal activities even after his release, as he was arrested for a second time in 1993 on drug-related charges.
Naturally, Joseph pled not guilty to the charges against him, but a jury convicted him of a single charge of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Hence, considering his previous criminal record, the judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison. Similarly, Joseph was also indicted on another unrelated crime as he was serving a probation period when the FBI began investigating him. Since Joseph Burke was a former convict, he had always been on the police’s radar, and authorities began suspecting him of being involved in a murder-for-hire plot in 2015.
Incidentally, several people who knew him claimed Joseph was offering his services as a hired killer if anyone wanted to get rid of their spouse for a minimal fee. This led to the FBI taking over the investigation, and soon Mike McGowan, an undercover coordinator with the FBI, began infiltrating Joseph’s inner circle. After introducing himself as a businessman, Mike began befriending several of Joseph’s associates while gradually earning the former convict’s trust. Eventually, Joseph felt comfortable enough to open up to his new friend, as he informed Mike about the financial issues he had been facing throughout his life.
At the same time, Joseph also claimed that he was ready to become a hired killer if the money was enough to save him from bankruptcy. Determined to take the case forward, Mike soon approached Joseph with an offer asking the suspect to kill a businessman in Manhattan. Moreover, the undercover coordinator for the FBI also provided Joseph with a mask and gun for the job. However, unbeknown to the hired killer, every second of the conversation was recorded by the authorities, and they learned how Joseph planned to kill his target at a Manhattan office on October 17, 2015. Hence, with enough evidence to warrant an arrest, agents from the FBI took Joseph Burke into custody for his involvement in the murder-for-hire plot.
Where Is Joseph Burke Now?
Although Joseph Burke was in custody, the authorities failed to locate a gun in either the suspect’s or his wife, Lisa Pino’s home. On the other hand, the FBI even learned that Joseph and Pino had gotten married about two days before the arrest, although the latter was never suspected of being involved in the crime. Nevertheless, with enough evidence for the trial, Joseph Burke was eventually presented in court, where he pled not guilty to the charges against him. Yet, the jury believed otherwise, and once the suspect was convicted on murder-for-hire charges, the judge sentenced him to 7 and a half years in prison in 2017. Hence at present, Joseph remains behind bars at Residential Reentry Management Philadelphia and will be released in 2024.