CAMDEN, N.J. — The United States Department of Justice said that a man from Camden County, New Jersey admitted to hiring a hitman online to have a 14-year-old child murdered.
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In a news release, the United States Department of Justice U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced that John Michael Musbach, 31, admitted to paying $20,000 in bitcoin to reportedly murder a 14-year-old child.
Musbach has pleaded guilty to a count of “knowingly and intentionally using and causing another to use a facility of interstate and foreign commerce, that is the internet, with the intent that a murder be committed”, the DOJ said.
CBS News reported that prosecutors said that Musbach at one point lived in Atlantic County when he first made contact with an unidentified victim who lived in New York at the time.
The DOJ said Musbach reportedly exchanged sexually explicit photographs and videos over the internet in the summer of 2015 with a 13-year-old. The child’s parents fund the inappropriate contact and called the police. Once Musbach was identified, law enforcement reached out to the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office.
Musbach was arrested in March 2016 by ACPO for child pornography charges. The DOJ said the ACPO executed a search warrant of his house in Galloway, New Jersey.
After he was arrested, he reportedly decided to have the child killed so they could not testify against him, the DOJ said. From May 7, 2016, through May 20, 2015, Musbach reportedly tried to communicate with a murder-for-hire website repeatedly. The website “operated on the dark net, and which purported to offer contract killings or other acts of violence in return for payment in cryptocurrency, and arranged for a murder-for-hire.”
Prosecutors said that Musbach paid $20,000 in bitcoin for the hit against the child, according to CBS News. The DOJ said that Musbach reportedly asked the administrator of the website for more details about the hit and paid an additional $5,000.
Musbach reportedly tried to cancel the hit but the administrator of the website told him that the “website was a scam” and threatened to contact the police with his information, prosecutors said, according to CBS News.
It has not been confirmed if the website administrator was the one to alert authorities about Musbach or not, according to CBS News.
Interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire is punishable by a maximum possible penalty of 10 years in prison as well as a fine of over $250,000, according to the DOJ.
Musbach is expected to be sentenced on June 13, 2023, the DOJ said.
No further information has been released.
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