One of the oldest general rule to survive your darknet activities is to avoid certain things: One would be trying to hire a person to murder someone. Another would be to not try to purchase bomb building materials. The reason is that in almost every case the authorities will be involved.
Missouri: Arrest for trying to buy a chemical weapon
Thus is happened that a Missouri, man pleaded guilty in federal court today to attempting to purchase a chemical weapon, capable of killing hundreds of people, on the dark web with Bitcoin.
Siesser ordered two 10ml units of the chemical on July 4, 2018, and paid with Bitcoin. The seller did not ship the chemical weapon at that time. Siesser continued to contact the seller. On July 19, 2018, Siesser told the seller that, “I plan to use it soon after I receive it.”
Siesser ordered three 10ml units of the chemical weapon on Aug 5, 2018. Siesser again paid for the order with Bitcoin (the equivalent of $150) and provided a shipping address in the name of a juvenile. This quantity of the chemical weapon has the capacity to kill approximately 300 people.
A controlled delivery of a package that contained an inert substance was made to Siesser’s residence on Aug. 23, 2018. Siesser believed the package contained the chemical weapon he had ordered, signed for the package, and took it inside the residence.
Law enforcement officers then executed a search warrant at Siesser’s residence. On top of a shelf in the garage, officers located the inert substance Siesser believed to be a chemical weapon. Officers also located two separate and seemingly unopened shipping boxes on the shelf next to it. They contained approximately 10 grams of cadmium arsenide, a toxic compound, which can be deadly if ingested or inhaled; approximately 100 grams of cadmium metal; and approximately 500 ml of hydrochloric acid. An invoice for these products showed they had been ordered together on March 30, 2018.
Writings located within the home articulated Siesser’s heartache, anger, and resentment over a breakup, and a desire for the person who caused the heartache to die.
New Jersey: Man arrested after attempting to hire a hitman
New Jersey attorney’s office, prosecutors charged John Michael Musbach, 31, with hiring a hitman in an attempt to kill one of his teenage victims. Musbach identified and contacted a website promoting murder for hire on the darkweb according to the article. He has paid $40,000 in Bitcoin to the site administrator to conduct the hit.
In the summer of 2015 Musbach began communicating via an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) website with his victim, who was 13 years old at the time. At some point, Musbach began using those IRC conversations to request and receive sexually explicit videos and photographs of the minor victim and to send to the victim sexually explicit videos and photographs of himself.
The victim’s parents learned the essence of Musbach’s contact with the victim in September 2015, and told local law enforcement officers in New York State where the victim lived. Officers began to investigate Musbach ‘s behavior and called upon Musbach to notify him that he was being investigated for his online sexual contact with the victim and that he was to stay away from the victim. New York law enforcement agents, recognizing Musbach as a resident of Atlantic City, New Jersey, reached out to the Atlantic City Prosecutor’s Office (ACPO), which launched the investigation.
On March 31, 2016, officers from the ACPO arrested Musbach on child pornography charges and executed a search warrant at his residence, then in Galloway, New Jersey. Law enforcement officers seized Musbach’s cellular telephone and also his business laptop provided to him by his then-employer, a cloud hosting company. Musbach admitted to having sent sexually explicit images and videos of himself to the victim and having requested and received sexually explicit images and videos from the victim, all while knowing that the victim was 13-years old.
In 2019, a cooperating informant began providing information to agents from Homeland Security Investigations in St. Paul, Minnesota, and provided messages between Musbach and a murder-for-hire website, which operated on the dark net, and which purported to offer contract killings or other acts of violence in return for payment in cryptocurrency.
Those messages revealed that in May 2016, Musbach arranged for a murder-for-hire from the website. He asked if a 14-year-old was too young to target, and upon hearing that the age was not a problem, paid approximately 40 bitcoin (approximately $20,000) for the hit. Musbach repeatedly messaged the website’s administrator following up on the hit and asking when it would occur. When pressed for an additional $5,000 to secure the hit, Musbach eventually sought to cancel and asked for a refund of his $20,000. The website’s administrator then revealed that the website was a scam and threatened to reveal Musbach’s information to law enforcement.
Agents were able to confirm Musbach’s identity through several means, including linking him to the same screen name he used to communicate with the murder-for-hire website and also by tracing the flow of monies from Musbach’s bank account to the purchase of bitcoin used to pay for the hit.
The charge of use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of the greater of $250,000, twice the gross profits to Musbach or twice the gross losses to the victim of his offense.