Bitcoin-related Murder-for-hire Plotter Gets 10 Years in Prison

Bitcoin-related Murder-for-hire Plotter Gets 10 Years in Prison

Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Jessica Leeann Sledge of Pelahatchie, Mississippi, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for allegedly attempting to hire an assassin via a dark web website using Bitcoin.

According to United States Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Jericha Fomby of the FBI’s Jackson Field Office, Sledge was punished to the legal maximum of 120 months behind bars for “using interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder-for-hire.”

According to the DOJ lawsuit, Sledge sought to contact a killer online between September 2021 through November 2021 and submitted three Bitcoin payments via Whatsapp totaling $10,000 on October 4, 9, and 10, 2018.

Unknown to Sledge, the “hitman” she was communicating with was a federal agent who met Sledge on November 1, 2021, in Brandon, Mississippi, where she was arrested and confessed to her role in the murder-for-hire conspiracy.

Sledge received a ten-year prison term, a $1,000 fine, and three years of supervised release following her prison term.

In October 2021, Sledge’s payments were made at a Bitcoin price of around $54,771. Due to the crypto market slump this spring, the BTC would be worth approximately $5,800 if law police kept it.

 

Another Case of Bitcoin Being Used to Hire an Assassin

Regulators continue to cite the criminal use of Bitcoin to support a ban on cryptocurrency. Nelson Replogle of Tennessee reportedly paid a contract killer he found on a murder-for-hire website using Bitcoins from his Coinbase account to murder his wife in 2013.

According to the FBI report, Replogle emailed the would-be murderer Bitcoin a description of his wife’s vehicle and the date and time she would take their pet to the veterinarian.

The FBI got the transaction data from Coinbase, and Replogle’s internet provider, AT&T, confirmed that the connection originated from Replogle’s residence in response to a request. At that time, an arrest warrant was issued for him. The wife of Replogle was uninjured.

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