DeAnna Marie Stinson, 50, allegedly paid more than $12,000 in a Bitcoin-for-blood plot to an unnamed website, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.
In an online “order” placed in late June, Stinson allegedly sent in the victim’s name and address and photograph along with the following, ominous note:
“Do not do at home. Any place else is fine. Need completed during July – preferably, between July 5th – 11th.”
She was looking for a “quick hit in southern Florida,” according to the order.
In a follow-up “order,” she added, “Bonus if completed by July 31st.” She placed five “orders” altogether, according to court documents.
When July 31 came, she circled back with site administrators asking them to “reassign the job to someone who has a history of getting jobs done,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
She wanted it “done ASAP.”
Investigators said they followed a digital trail showing Stinson had paid the site in Bitcoin, and then an undercover agent contacted her over WhatsApp posing as a hitman.
The agent sent her a mock surveillance photo of her intended victim, and prosecutors say she “confirmed it was the same person she wanted to have killed.”
But the website was not offering real services.
In a phone call, which the undercover investigator recorded, Stinson reiterated her intent and agreed to send another $350 in Bitcoin that she believed would cover the cost of a revolver that would be used in the assassination, according to the documents.
The FBI served a search warrant on her home in Tampa and seized three computers and an iPhone.
On the phone, they found her Coinbase account showing Bitcoin transactions involving the website and the WhatsApp conversation with the undercover agent, as well as other evidence, according to prosecutors.
The Justice Department announced charges in September.
Stinson faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison. Her sentencing date has not yet been set.
The guilty plea comes days after a Michigan woman was sentenced to seven to 20 years in prison for trying to hire an assassin to kill her ex-husband through a website called “RentAHitman.com.”
That site, found on the normal web, was also fake. And its operator has been forwarding requests to authorities for years.
When he received a solicitation from South Rockford resident Wendy Lynn Wein, he showed it to state police instead of hired killers.