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NJ Pedophile Charged with Trying to Hire Dark Web Based Hitman to Kill the Teenage Victim in His Child Porn Case

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A New Jersey man previously convicted of a child sex crime is facing new charges: that he tried to hire a hitman online to kill the teenage victim in his case.

John Michael Musbach is charged with murder for hire, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey said Thursday.

Musbach, 31, of Haddonfield, is accused of paying about 40 bitcoins (worth $20,000 at the time) to the administrator of a site on the dark web that pretended to offer contract killings.

The name of the site has not been disclosed to avoid alerting its users that law enforcement are examining it in several other investigations. Court documents describe the site as a scam to take cryptocurrency from desperate people who wanted someone dead, before demanding more money amid threats to turn them in to law enforcement.

The site promoted itself on its homepage as accepting cryptocurrency in exchange for targeted violence, according to the agent who investigated Musbach’s case.

“If you want to kill someone, or to beat the s–t out of him, we are the right guys,” the site’s homepage read, according to a criminal complaint. “We have professional hitmen available throughout the entire USA, Canada and Europe and you can hire a contract killer easily. Most of our gang members are drug dealers but they do contract killing when they are short on cash. No undercover cops here. No risks of getting caught, because we are professional killers: We don’t ask you for your name, we don’t want to know who you are or where you live… “

Federal prosecutors say that in 2016, Musbach accessed the murder-for-hire site while his child porn case was still moving through state courts.

That case involved a victim in New York State who was 13 at the time. In May 2016, just a few months after charges were filed, a user account that investigators linked to Musbach exchanged messages with an administrator for the dark web site.

At first, that user asked the site to help him get a gun, which he couldn’t do legally.

Later, he amended his request: “Alternatively to a gun order, I could place a hit order. However, the target would be 14. Is that an acceptable age or too young? I can budget up to $20k for the order.”

The administrator wrote back: “Yes, 14 years old is acceptable. We have gang members to do the hit; however the price is about 18500.”

Prosecutors say they were talking about the child porn victim, who had turned 14 during the court case.

There were then several messages about payment in Bitcoin. After appearing to reach an agreement to perform the hit, the administrator eventually asked for another $5,000 in Bitcoin; Musbach tried to get his money back. Then the administrator threatened to send Musbach’s IP address and identity to law enforcement, asking for another $10,000 in Bitcoin as blackmail to avoid sending it.

“No, this is not a joke. The [website name redacted] has been hacked. We the hackers have full control over it, we infected it with malware and Javascript and extracted everything from your computer. We have proofs that you ordered the murder, who you are, who the target is, and proof that you paid for it, you will be arrested unless you send us 22 bitcoin…”

Law enforcement learned about the alleged deal from an anonymous source who “scraped” data from the website that included the administrator’s direct messages.

Investigators also traced bank records and transactions with Coinbase, a site that exchanges cryptocurrency.

Information on a defense attorney for Musbach wasn’t immediately available.

Musbach could face 10 years in prison if convicted, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news statement.

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Written by L Walker

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