Former hitman Fairfax released from federal prison

Sagle man was hired by Edgar Steele to kill his wife

COEUR d'ALENE - Larry Fairfax, the hit man hired by North Idaho attorney Edgar J. Steele to kill Steele's wife in June 2010, was released Thursday from federal custody.

Fairfax, 51, of Sagle, served his prison sentence at the SeaTac Federal Detention Center, located 12 miles south of Seattle.

A spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons said Fairfax was moved Feb. 2 to a halfway house, a step the federal government takes to bridge prisoners from federal custody back into the community.

"It helps inmates adjust to life in society," said bureau spokesman Chris Burke.

Starting April 18, Fairfax went into home confinement.

Fairfax pleaded guilty to building a massive pipebomb and then attaching it underneath Steele's wife's SUV. It was discovered during an oil change and removed by a bomb squad. It was rigged by Fairfax to go off using heat from an exhaust pipe to light a fuse.

Fairfax became a federal informant and carried a hidden recording device in meetings with Steele to discuss the plot to kill Steele's wife. Fairfax accepted payment in silver coins from Steele for the job.

Fairfax only admitted to planting the bomb after it was discovered, even though he had been cooperating with federal investigators.

Fairfax testified at Steele's trial in Boise last year. The jury in U.S. District Court found Steele guilty, and the recordings Fairfax helped the federal government collect were critical evidence.

Fairfax was sentenced in May 2011 to 27 months in prison for possession of an unregistered firearm and manufacturing a firearm. Fairfax was first jailed on June 15, 2010.

He ended up serving just more than 23 months altogether.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Traci Whelan said sometimes the Bureau of Prisons allows for a reduction in sentence due to good behavior.

Fairfax's attorney, John Miller, couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, Steele, 66, is serving his 50-year sentence at the U.S. Penitentiary-Victorville, in Adelanto, Calif., a high-security facility 85 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

Steele, also a Sagle resident, has represented high-profile clients like the Aryan Nations' onetime leader Richard Butler during the 2000 trial that bankrupted the hate group.

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