A Missouri man was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years behind bars after prosecutors say he tried to buy off the dark web a dangerous chemical weapon that could kill hundreds, using cryptocurrency for his purchase. Per court documents cited in a Justice Department release, Jason William Siesser, now 46, pleaded guilty in August 2020 to identity theft and attempting to acquire a chemical weapon after trying to get his hands on the chemical twice between June 14, 2018, and Aug. 23 of that year, reports NBC News. He first attempted to buy two 10-milliliter units of the chemical on July 4, paying in bitcoin and providing a shipping address using the name of juvenile he'd swiped, per the release. The package never came, and during a follow-up with the seller, Siesser is said to have noted: "I plan to use it soon after I receive it." On Aug. 5, Siesser paid the equivalent of $150 in bitcoin for three more 10ml units, which the DOJ release says has the capability to kill 300 people.
On Aug. 23, a "controlled delivery" of an inert substance was made to Siesser's home, which he signed for and accepted, per the release. A search warrant was then issued for his residence, and in Siesser's garage, officers found the liquid Siesser had believed was dimethylmercury, per the New York Times, which notes a permit is needed to purchase the clear, sweet-smelling substance. Also found on a nearby garage shelf: unopened boxes that were apparently shipped in March 2018, containing 100 grams of cadmium metal, approximately 500ml of hydrochloric acid, and about 10g of cadmium arsenide, which can be fatal if breathed in or ingested. Although the release doesn't specifically cite a motive, it notes that also found within Siesser's home were writings that "articulated ... a desire for the person who caused [him] heartache to die." "They say I should let it go. But my hatred's just too strong," Siesser wrote, per prosecutors. "I dream about your ending." (Read more bitcoin stories.)