A Missouri man has pleaded guilty as he admitted attempting the purchase of a dark web chemical weapon from a darknet vendor on two occasions. The defendant has been identified to be Jason William Siesser, who is a resident of Columbia, Missouri. The quantity of the chemical weapon that the accused had bought off the dark web was enough to kill hundreds of people following months of suffering, as stated by the court documents.
The government has successfully redacted the name of the specific dark web chemical weapon from all the court documents that have been made available for the public. In the past few cases, law enforcement has explained that such redactions made on the substances aim to preserve the integrity of an ongoing investigation. The knowledge of the accused attempting to purchase dimethylmercury from the dark web could lead to the identification of undercover law enforcement (LE) officer disguising as a dark web vendor. The robust majority of the dark web chemical weapon vendors are either the undercover law enforcement officers of the scammers.
Modus Operandi Of Siesser’s Dark Web Chemical Weapon Purchase Attempt
On the 4th of July, 2018, the accused had ordered two hundred and ten millilitre units of dimethylmercury from a chemical weapon vendor on the dark web on a hidden onion service. The mainstream markets do not allow the vendors to sell chemical weapons. But certain onion websites explicitly promote poisons. Such an example can be considered as the Poison Shop, which is a website that once advertised the toxic chemicals. The site was also marked as a scam by the other websites. As the information flows, the Poison Shop was the sole indexed onion service that had listed dimethylmercury back in the year 2018, as per the various onion service search engines. Another instance of the same kind is an indexed advertisement for the same chemical as a post on a Tor-based imageboard. The post redirected the interested users to a Telegram account contact, from where they can avail the chemical.
While completing the transaction for dark web chemical weapon purchase on the hidden tor network, Siesser had provided the vendor with the address of a juvenile as his shipping address. At the same time, Siesser had worked at a group home that sheltered juveniles under contract with the State of Missouri. Siesser had placed the order against the name and address of one of the minors under his care. The accused kept on contacting the vendor. On the 18th of July, Siesser had told the vendor that he had planned to use the weapon as soon as he receives it. After the accused had realized that the vendor did not mail his package of the dimethylmercury vials, he had again placed an order for three more ten millilitre vials of the dimethylmercury from the same darknet vendor. On the 5th of August 2018, he had transferred $150 in Bitcoin to the darknet vendor and had provided him with shipping details of the juvenile.
Role of Law Enforcement Officials On Tracking Seisser & Seizure Of Discovery
Later on the 23rd of August 2018, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has likely outed themselves as the darknet vendor by carrying on a controlled delivery of an inert substance. At 1:11 pm, the accused had signed for the package. The law enforcement had observed him ventilating his house by leaving at the minimum of one door open. At 1.43 pm, the law enforcement officials executed a search warrant at the residence.
“As law enforcement executed the search warrant, Siesser came to the front door after officers knocked and announced their presence. Siesser was detained and asked if there was anything that would harm officers. Siesser stated that there was a quantity of acid and powder in the garage on the top shelf. When asked about the package that had just been delivered, Siesser said that he did not know what the agent meant. Siesser stated that he had just had a speaker delivered and that the speaker was on the shelf with the acid and powder. Siesser was then transported to the Columbia Police Department.”
The following items were seized during the execution of the search warrant:
- A discarded container which probably contained the substance dimethylmercury;
- Approximately five hundred millilitres of hydrochloric acid (HCL).
- Approximately hundred grams of the cadmium metal;
- Notes that revealed Siesser’s heartache and anger over a breakup. In the notes, Siesser had written that he had wished the cause of his despair would make him die.
- The USPS shipping box that got delivered at 1:11 pm;
- Two boxes containing ten grams of cadmium arsenide (Cd3As2);
The court documents had contained the examples of the notes written by Siesser that includes the snippet mentioned next:
“I wish I’d never met you but now it’s not too late. The things you’ve taught me showed me a new kind of love. Our early ending was all wrong. You discarded me like trash but look at how I got strong. Now that I see you just for what you are I know better. I still have the scar Someday I’ll find you and make your day. The darkness that consumes me will overflow one day. You were there to teach me something I already knew Now it’s my turn to teach you a lesson filled with pain Your life is forfeit, flushed down the drain.”
While the law enforcement agency conducted the resident search, different officers interviewed the juvenile in the Siesser’s care. During the interview, the investigators have learnt that the accused had informed the juvenile that he was in the military and that he had wished to be an Assassin. The accused had also said to the juvenile that he wanted to kill all of those who have wronged him and that he is eager to kill his ex-partner from the Netherlands.
The accused had waived his Miranda rights at the Columbia Police Department while an interview was going on with the investigators. He has admitted that he had purchased three vials of the dimethylmercury from a dark web website having worth $52 per vial of Bitcoin. The accused Siesser had revealed that he had used the details of the juvenile in his care for preventing the law enforcement from linking the accused to the purchase. He had explained that he had earlier attempted to purchase dark web chemical weapon named dimethylmercury from a legit chemical vendor. The vendor has cancelled his transaction knowing that Siesser had lacked the licence that is required to keep dimethylmercury in possession.
The FBI had further noted that Siesser had written various stories regarding men committing violence or killing their former girlfriends and that he had stayed with his ex-wife in the Netherlands till they split up. They had identified the former partner to be a possible victim of the accused’s plan. In one of the court documents, the FBI has pinpointed that Siesser was in the process of buying a $100,000 life insurance policy for his father of age 72 years. This made his father a possible target too.
On the 4th of August, 2020, the accused had pleaded guilty to a single count of attempt to acquire a dark web chemical weapon and a single count of aggravated identity theft. The defendant pleaded guilty before Willie J. Epps, Jr., the U.S. Magistrate Judge. The chemical weapon charge also bears a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in the federal prison, and it comes with a statutory maximum penalty of whole life behind bars without parole.
Here is the complete Guilty Plea of Jason William Siesser.
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