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Friday, May 7th, 2021

Man sentenced for attempted chemical weapon purchase

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Department of Justice officials said a man has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison without parole for attempting to purchase a chemical weapon on the dark web.

Jason William Siesser, 46, of Columbia, Mo., pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to acquire a chemical weapon and one count of aggravated identity theft on Aug. 4, 2020.

Per court documents, Siesser admitted to attempting to acquire a chemical weapon on two occasions between June 14 and Aug. 23, 2018, providing a shipping address in the name of a juvenile whose identity he used without authorization to place the orders for a highly toxic chemical.

Siesser paid for the chemical weapon with the digital cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin, ordering two 10 mL units of the chemical on July 4, 2018, but the seller did not ship the chemical weapon at that time. Siesser continued to contact the seller, per authorities.

Additionally, Siesser ordered three 10 mL units of the chemical weapon on Aug. 5, 2018, paying for the order with Bitcoin for an amount equivalent to $150, and provided a shipping address in the name of a juvenile.

According to the Department of Justice, a controlled delivery of a package containing an inert substance was made to Siesser’s residence on Aug. 23, 2018. Siesser believed the package contained the chemical weapon he had ordered. He signed for the package and took it inside the residence, per officials.

Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Siesser’s residence. On top of a shelf in the garage, the inert substance Siesser believed to be a chemical weapon, with officials indicating officers also located two separate and seemingly unopened shipping boxes on the shelf next to it.