A Culpeper woman was arrested last week on federal criminal charges after attempting to hire a hitman using bitcoin.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Virginia, Annie Nicole Ritenour, 25, took to the dark web to advertise the murder-for-hire plot.
Ritenour created an account with the website and deposited approximately $3,200 in bitcoin to hire a hitman to kill her intended victim, the release continued. Ritenour also uploaded photos of her intended victim and their personal information such as their place of employment, type of vehicle they own and the best time and place to kill them.
“Upon learning of the murder-for-hire plot, the FBI moved quickly to ensure the safety of the intended victim and identified Ms. Ritenour as the person responsible for the threat,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Neil Mathison. “The FBI reminds the public that making threats online or using the Dark Web to hire someone to harm another has serious consequences, and we will work with our law enforcement partners and the United States Attorney's Office to hold criminals accountable.”
Ritenour is charged with one count of solicitation to commit a crime of violence and one count of murder-for-hire. If convicted, Ritenour faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison.