BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts man who tried to hire a hit man to kill his wife after she sought a restraining order has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The sentence for Massimo Marenghi, 57, handed down Monday in federal court in Boston was the maximum possible under sentencing guidelines, federal prosecutors said.

Marenghi’s conduct was “despicable,” acting U.S. Attorney Joshua Levy said in a statement.

“Domestic violence is a truly haunting reality that is far too pervasive in our society. At its core, that is what the prosecution of Mr. Marenghi was all about,” he said. “He was looking to engage in the most extreme form of domestic violence by plotting the murder of his wife.”

Authorities began investigating in January 2021 when someone went to law enforcement and reported that Marenghi had complained about the restraining order and asked for assistance in killing his wife, prosecutors said.

Federal investigators directed that person to introduce Marenghi to an undercover agent posing as a contract killer.

The Malden man met with the agent in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, discussed a price of $10,000, provided the agent with a photo of his wife’s home and explained how to evade surveillance cameras.

At another meeting, he provided the agent with a $1,500 deposit, a photograph of his wife, a description of her car, details about her work schedule.

Marenghi pleaded guilty in March to a murder-for-hire charge.

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