Feds claim that a woman who was irate with a guy hired a hitman to kill him at work.
In order to hire a hitman “for a simple quick job,” a woman reportedly searched the dark web. She is now facing prison time after being charged with using the virtual currency Bitcoin to pay to have a man shot and murdered at his place of employment, a department store in central Virginia, according to court documents. In the end, the plot fell through.
According to a news release on June 1, Annie Nicole Ritenour, 27, of Culpeper, Virginia, pled guilty on May 31 to one count of committing a murder-for-hire while utilizing facilities connected to interstate commerce. Ritenour may spend 36 to 87 months behind bars, according to the authorities. Ritenour’s public defender, Erin Trodden, was approached by McClatchy News for comment on June 2, but she didn’t respond right away.
According to the prosecution, Ritenour is suspected of visiting a website that offers murder-for-hire services. According to court filings, the homepage of the website states, “[W]e can kill any person you want, as long as it is not a president or very important person who is guarded by the military.”
According to court documents, the website also claims to be able to commit kidnappings, beatings, arson, and other crimes while making killings “look accidental.” According to an affidavit, Ritenour was unaware that, despite the services being offered on the website, they were never rendered once interested clients paid for them. According to prosecutors, the website also states that “thousands of satisfied customers recommend our products and services such as drugs, guns, assault, arson, and murder.”
Ritenour paid the website $3,200 in Bitcoin on June 23 and June 24, according to an agreed-upon statement of facts submitted to the court on May 31. According to the statement of facts, Ritenour was informed that the “Sinaloa Cartel Cyberteam” was aware of her payment a day after it was made by a website administrator who introduced himself as “Juan” from the group.
The next day, Ritenour registered for an account on the website and placed a “order” for a hitman with the instructions to “shoot and get away,” according to the prosecution. According to the affidavit, she also provided a picture of the target, information about his vehicle and license plate number, as well as the location and hours of his workplace. Ritenour reportedly responded, “The days/time I mentioned will be the best time and place, I would say wait until he’s off at 3 and then make your move,” according to the affidavit.
According to the affidavit, the FBI Charlottesville received a tip from the FBI Knoxville a few months later about Ritenour’s use of the website to obtain murder-for-hire services from a confidential source. Finally, Ritenour was taken into custody. According to the statement of facts, she admitted to detectives that she wanted to kill the man because she was upset with him. The date for the sentence hearing has not yet been set.