Virginia Woman Attempted to Hire a Hitman

~2 min read | Published on 2023-06-02, tagged Murder-for-HirePleaded-Guilty using 369 words.

A Virginia woman pleaded guilty to orchestrating a murder-for-hire plot by paying for a hitman on the dark web.

According to court documents, 27-year-old Annie Nicole Ritenour of Culpeper, Virginia, admitted she deposited $3,200 into a murder-for-hire site on the dark web and placed an order. She had disagreed with someone and she was looking for a hitman to murder him.
In mid-September 2021, the FBI reportedly received information from someone connected to a fraudulent murder-for-hire website on the dark web regarding a hit against a central Virginia resident.
In addition to claiming its hitmen would make murders look "accidental", the site said it could murder anyone as long as the intended victim is not a president or a highly guarded individual.
The order titled, "Shoot and get away" was placed on June 26, 2021, following the deposit of $3,200 in bitcoin into the site's escrow. The order was accompanied by the victim's picture, working hours, and workplace address. A description of the victim's vehicle and its license plate number was also included.

Quote:The order instructions
I am just looking for a simple quick job. The address of the person will be the best place to make the target, as it’s his workplace (****’s). He works 6am to 3pm Monday through Friday. He drives a burgundy 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe, license plate ***-****. The days/time I mentioned will be the best time and place, I would say wait until he’s off at 3 and then make your move.

Blockchain analysis led the FBI to the crypto ATM operator, American Crypto. The information provided by American Crypto in October 2021 revealed that the $3,200 deposited to the murder-for-hire website had been made in three transactions, two on June 23 and one on June 24. Photos from the ATM where the transactions were made revealed that Ritenour made the transactions.
The investigators arrested and interviewed Ritenour on October 27. On being questioned, she admitted she had deposited the funds into the site and placed the order because she was angry with the hit's target.
She was charged with one count of using interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder-for-hire. She pleaded guilty on May 31, 2023. She faces a minimum sentence of three years in federal prison.