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A Missouri man who tried to use the cryptocurrency Bitcoin to buy a highly lethal chemical weapon that could kill 300 people told the potential seller, “I plan to use it soon,” federal authorities said Tuesday.
Writings found in Columbia man Jason William Siesser’s home “articulated Siesser’s heartbreak, anger, and resentment over separation and a desire for the person who caused the heartache to die,” the Justice Department said in a press release.
The 46-year-old Siesser was sentenced to 12 years in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty in August of attempting to acquire the weapon and exacerbating identity theft.
Siesser admitted that he tried to buy the gun over the dark network twice in the summer of 2018 and gave the seller a delivery address on behalf of a youth, the Justice Department said. The dark internet, a vast area of the internet that requires a special web browser to access, is widely used by criminals to anonymize their traces of trafficking in drugs, weapons and other illegal items.
During his first attempt on July 4 of this year, Siesser ordered two 10-milliliter units of the chemical and paid with the Bitcoin in digital currency, the department said.
After the seller failed to ship the chemical, Siesser tried to contact the seller and said, “I plan to use it soon after receiving it,” according to the Justice Department.
A month later, Siesser ordered three 10-milliliter units of the weapon and paid for the order with Bitcoin worth $ 150. That amount of the chemical could kill about 300 people, the department said.
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Officials said a controlled delivery of a package containing an inert substance was brought to Siesser’s home on August 23 this year.
“Siesser believed that the package contained the chemical weapon he had ordered, so he signed the package and brought it to the residence,” said the Justice Department.
Police officers later found the substance on a shelf in his garage, the department said.
They also found “two separate and apparently unopened shipping boxes on the shelf next to it”.
Inside those boxes were “about 10 grams of cadmium arsenide, a toxic compound that can be fatal if swallowed or inhaled, about 100 grams of cadmium metal, and about 500 ml of hydrochloric acid,” the Justice Department said.
“An invoice for these products showed that they were ordered together on March 30, 2018.”