Missouri Man Pleads Guilty to Trying to Buy Chemical Weapons With Bitcoin

Richard Bolling Federal Building and Federal Courthouse, Kansas City, Missouri. (Tony Webster/Flickr)

A 45-year-old Missouri man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges related to his trying to buy chemical weapons on the dark web using $150 in bitcoin.

  • Jason William Siesser admitted in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri he attempted to pay $52 in bitcoin per vial of an unnamed chemical weapon on two occasions in the summer of 2018.
  • Prosecutors said the “highly toxic chemical” was potent enough to “kill approximately 300 persons” at the levels Siesser sought, and that he had told the seller he planned to use them imminently.
  • Siesser, whom FBI agents detained within minutes of the package’s arrival in late August 2018, also admitted on Tuesday to identity theft. He had had the package sent to a juvenile living at his address “because [Siesser] did not want to get in trouble if the purchase was traced to him,” the plea deal stated.
  • The package Siesser ultimately received contained an inert substance, not a chemical weapon. Even so, agents found a potentially deadly trio – cadmium arsenide, cadmium metal and hydrochloric acid – at Siesser’s Missouri residence.
  • Siesser faces a minimum five-year sentence, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.

Read the plea deal below:

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