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‘Has to happen quick:’ Alleged drug dealer accused of asking CI to ‘kill a deputy’ pleads not guilty

RACINE COUNTY — An alleged drug dealer accused of offering to pay a confidential informant to kill a Kenosha County sheriff’s deputy after he “lost” a federal lawsuit pleaded not guilty Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Kelly Rainey, 55, of Racine, entered the plea during his preliminary hearing and arraignment. A status conference was scheduled for Oct. 14.

According to prosecutors, Rainey offered the CI $500 to help with legal paperwork and for the completion of the killing of the deputy.

Rainey faces the following charges, filed Aug. 21:

  • Conspiracy to commit first degree intentional homicide, repeater
  • Threat to a law enforcement officer, repeater
  • Manufacture/deliver cocaine (less than one gram), repeater, possession with intent to deliver/distribute a controlled substance on or near a park
  • Possession of THC, repeater

According to a criminal complaint, officials with the Racine County Metro Drug Unit were conducting an undercover investigation into Rainey for distributing controlled substances, and a confidential informant was being used to make controlled buys from Rainey.

On Aug. 14, officials learned Rainey asked the CI to “help him out and kill a Kenosha County sheriff’s deputy” who Rainey previously accused of inappropriately touching his chest while taking him from the Kenosha County Jail to the Kenosha County Detention Center for a revocation hearing in 2017. An investigation determined the allegations were “unfounded,” the complaint said.

The complaint said Rainey filed a federal lawsuit against the deputy and Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth, and he had recently received “an adverse ruling” in his federal case.

The CI advised Rainey showed up at her home asking for help with some legal paperwork, and Rainey indicated he “lost his federal lawsuit,” and “cops always get away with stuff.” He said he wanted the deputy “gone” and he would get “a thing” for the CI to use to kill the deputy.

According to the complaint, the CI purchased .2 grams of cocaine from Rainey in a Racine parking lot that day, and Rainey provided the CI with photos of three people, with an arrow pointing at a deputy. It was learned that Rainey agreed to pay the CI $100 to rewrite a brief in his case, and then Rainey would give the CI a $200 down payment and a gun. After the deputy was killed, Rainey would give the CI an additional $200. The complaint noted this all took place within 100 feet of Grand Park.

Rainey later contacted the CI and said he wouldn’t be able to get the gun until Aug. 16. The CI was informed the deputy worked second shift, and was advised to conduct surveillance on the Kenosha Police Department and Kenosha County Detention Center, with Rainey telling the CI “to follow and kill” the deputy.

The complaint said they met on Aug. 14, and reviewed the information for the brief re-write, before Rainey gave the CI a $20 down payment for killing the deputy.

Rainey was arrested during a traffic stop near 16th and Villa. During the arrest, the complaint said Rainey said, “I’m suing the (expletive) out of ya’ll. I’m an innocent (expletive).”

Later on Aug. 14, a search warrant was executed at Rainey’s home, and investigators recovered 28.5 grams of marijuana.

Rainey was interviewed by investigators, and claimed he doesn’t sell drugs, indicating he is “too (expletive) dumb to do so. He said he purchased the marijuana found in his bedroom and planned to give it to his girlfriend. When asked about attempting to hire the CI to kill the deputy, he “changed the subject.” He did admit to meeting with the CI on Aug. 14. He told investigators “he hoped he would not be revoked,” and said “to tell Kenosha he would be willing to drop everything.”

The complaint said the CI contacted investigators on Aug. 20 and indicated there two deleted voicemails from Rainey, and the visual voicemail transcriptions were able to be recovered.

One message from Aug. 14 read, in part: “I need you to do me a favor and trust me it’s worth it. But I will give you 500 bucks to help me out. Just get rid of this (expletive) pig for me. (Expletive) police department are going to pay.”

A second message read, in part: “I need to talk to you. This has to happen quick. I need to get home. I’ve got everything planned. I know exactly what to tell you.”

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