A New Jersey Grand Jury indicted a man for allegedly attempting to hire a hitman on the darkweb to murder a 14-year-old.
According to court documents, John Michael Musbach, 31, of New Jersey, paid a fraudulent hitman site on the darkweb to murder a teenager he had sexually exploited. The Grand Jury indicted Musbach on one count of murder for hire.
Musbach had initiated contact with the minor in 2015:
In the summer of 2015, Musbach began communicating via an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) website with his victim, who was 13 years old at the time. Musbach began using those IRC conversations to request and receive sexually explicit videos and photographs of the minor victim and to send to the victim sexually explicit videos and photographs of himself.
Authorities arrested Musbach in March 2016 on child pornography charges. Musbach pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child by sexual contact in October 2016.
In 2019, someone cooperating with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) provided law enforcement officers with copies of messages between the administrator of a fraudulent “murder-for-hire” site on the darkweb and one of the site’s clients. The subject, using the username “agentisai," asked about killing a 14-year-old. The site administrator said that age was not an issue. Agentisai then sent the site 40 Bitcoins to have the 14-year-old killed.
HSI investigators traced the Bitcoin transaction back to a Coinbase account. Coinbase revealed that Musbach had opened the account in May 2016.
If convicted of the murder for hire charge, Musbach faces up to ten years in prison.