A registered nurse from Illinois was sentenced after pleading guilty to a Bitcoin murder-for-hire that targeted her ex-lover’s wife.
32-year old Tina Jones from Des Plaines, Illinois, was sentenced today to 12 years in prison, to be followed by three years of probation.
Looking to the dark web
The entire murder plot came about due to an affair Jones was having with a co-worker at Loyola University Medical Center.
Both Jones and her lover were married when they had the affair, but her lover eventually spurned the romantic relationship.
At that point, Tina Jones decided to hire a hitman to kill her ex-lover’s wife, so she turned to the dark web to find an assassin.
Jones concealed her IP address by using a dark web browser and came across a site called the Sicilian Hitmen International Network.
Once on the site, Jones paid US$12,000 in Bitcoin over a three-month period to have the murder done.
She also handed over the victim’s photograph and address, but she stipulated that the husband, her ex-lover, was not to be harmed.
Unfortunately for Tina Jones – and fortunately for the victim, the Sicilian Hitmen International Network site turned out to be a scam.
Authorities were tipped off about the Bitcoin murder-for-hire plot back in April 2018 from the 48 Hours TV show, which had been doing a story on people looking to contract illegal services on the dark web.
Jones confessed to her plan when police confronted her about it, and she eventually agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors that saw her plead guilty to one count of attempted first-degree murder.
Prosecutors then dropped four counts of solicitation of murder-for-hire and two counts of solicitation of murder.
Other Bitcoin murder-for-hire plots
Sadly, Tina Jones is not the only person who has decided to use Bitcoin in order to hire an assassin on the dark web.
In late 2017, a Danish court sentenced an Italian woman to six years in jail for trying to have her boyfriend murdered and paying 4.1 bitcoins (worth about $4,000 at the time) to have the deed done.
Another Bitcoin murder-for-hire plot involved a young mother-of-one in Tennessee named Sydney.
She was divorced and came across an old high school friend, Brandon, on a dating app. The friend said he was divorced too, and the two began dating.
Sydney eventually became pregnant, which caused Brandon to reveal that he was actually still married.
Upon learning that she had decided not to have an abortion, Brandon turned to the dark web to hire a hitman – again using Bitcoin – but the plot was uncovered during the same 48 Hours investigation that nabbed Tina Jones.
While the above incidents ended with the victim not being harmed, such was not the case for Amy Allwine.
Police say that her husband, Stephen Allwine, contacted the Besa Mafia website, a successor to Sicilian Hitmen International Network, to hire a hitman to kill her.
Allwine, a preacher, wanted his wife killed as his marriage was deteriorating, and he paid $12,000 in Bitcoin to the Besa Mafia website to have the murder committed.
However, Besa Mafia was a scam just like the Sicilian Hitmen International Network as the owner of the site just kept the bitcoins.
Allwine eventually took matters into his own hands and killed his wife in November 2016, although he claims she committed suicide.
Police were able to track the cryptocurrency transaction he made to hire a hitman, and he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.