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Ex-Atlantic County man put out hit on child pornography victim, charges claim

A Camden County man was arrested Thursday for paying $20,000 in Bitcoin to have the victim in his child pornography case murdered, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
John Michael Musbach, 31, was living in Atlantic County during the 2015 investigation into charges he traded sexually explicit videos and photos with a then-13-year-old boy.
He is charged with murder-for-hire.
In 2017, Musbach pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child by sexual contact, and was given a two-year suspended sentence that included lifetime supervision.
But it wasn’t until last year that a tip led to messages between Musbach and a murder-for-hire website that offered “professional hitmen” in exchange for cryptocurrency.
A cooperating informant began providing information to agents from Homeland Security Investigations in St. Paul, Minnesota, including messages between Musbach and a murder-for-hire website, which operated on the dark net, and which purported to offer contract killings or other acts of violence in return for payment in cryptocurrency.
“Agentisai” — later identified as Musbach — reached out to the unnamed site May 7, 2016, saying he was in South Jersey, and looking to obtain a handgun and ammunition.
“Alternatively to a gun order, I could place a hit order,” “agentisai” writes the next day.
“However, the target would be 14. Is that an acceptable age or too young?” he writes. “I can budget up to $20k for the order.”
The site responds: “Yes, 14 years old is acceptable. We have gang members to do the hit; however the price is about $18,500.”
Musbach was first arrested on child pornography charges March 31, 2016, after the victim’s parents in New York discovered messages sent between the two using an Internet Relay Chat website.
About five weeks later, Musbach allegedly went to the dark web to find a gun or a hitman.
After his initial contact, he sent the $20,000 in two deposits on May 10 and 11, saying his purchase limit was $10,000.
Musbach repeatedly messaged the website’s administrator following up on the hit and asking when it would happen, Carpenito said.
On May 19, the administrator messaged Musbach saying that there was a problem: “The assigned hitman got arrested for cocaine possession while he was near the place.”
He was then told the new hitman wanted an additional $5,000.
When pressed, Musbach eventually tried to cancel and asked for a refund of his $20,000.
It was then that the website’s administrator told him the website was a scam and threatened to reveal Musbach’s information to law enforcement.
Agents were able to confirm Musbach’s identity through several means, including linking him to the same screen name he used to communicate with the murder-for-hire website and by tracing the money from Musbach’s bank account to the purchase of the bitcoins used to pay for the hit.
He is also charged with use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire, which carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of either $250,000 or twice the gross profits to Musbach or twice the gross losses to the victim of his offense, whichever is more.


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