After being arrested, New Jersey resident John-Michael Musbach pleaded guilty to attempting to hire a hitman from DarkWeb to kill a minor.
According to the information provided, 31-year-old New Jersey resident John-Michael Musbach transferred about $20,000 in BTC to the account of a fraudulent website for hiring killers. He was trying to hire a killer to kill a 14-year-old boy whom he had sexually abused the day before. According to the police department, in the summer of 2015, John-Michael conducted sexual correspondence with a minor (the victim was only 13 years old at the time) using the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) resource.
This could not go unnoticed, so the victim’s parents found out about it and immediately contacted the police. On March 31, 2016, the police arrested Michael, and on October 11, he confessed to having sexual relations with the victim.
On February 9, 2018, Michael was sentenced to 2 years of suspended imprisonment. The case would have been closed, but in 2019, an anonymous informant contacted HSI agents. The anonymous informant reported that in 2016, a user under the nickname agentisai wanted to use the services of a DarkNet site to order the services of a killer.
The anonymous person shared private correspondence from which it became known that in May 2016, agentisai asked the site administration whether a minor could be a target, and received a response that age was not a problem for the order. After receiving a positive response to his request, agentisai transferred 40 bitcoins to the site’s account and placed an order to kill a 14-year-old boy. During the order confirmation, the administrator asked for another $5,000, saying that this way his order would be fulfilled by a more professional killer. After that, agentisai wanted to deactivate his order, but was refused. The site administrator threatened to provide all the information to law enforcement agencies if agentisai did not pay another 22 BTC. For this amount, the administration promised to delete the customer’s account.
The agents reported this information to the Coinbase exchange, as it was the exchange that was used to pay for the murder order. The exchange indicated that this transaction was made from an account registered to John-Michael.
John-Michael was arrested on August 13, 2020, and pleaded guilty on February 2, 2023. U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez has scheduled his sentencing for June 13, 2023. Michael faces a 10-year prison sentence.