One Bryant Riyanto Budi, a resident of NorthCarolina has been sentenced to 6 and a half years after pleading guilty to trying to buy radioactive substances on the darkweb to commit murder.
Now, the details of the case are quite amusing, seeing as Budi tried to get the radioactive drugs from the FBI themselves (without knowing of course) and even hired a secret agent from Homeland Security(HSI) via an unnamed darkweb site to assassinate an enemy – speculated to be a landlord or tenant of some relation to the accused in April of last year. In his interactions with the FBI undercover agent, he disclosed his intentions for procuring the materials and that he had already made arrangements for a hitman.
Budi asked around on a darknet market about an unnamed radioactive substance described by HSI as a “primarily created in nuclear reactors, is highly toxic, and will likely cause death if ingested in small amounts,” asking questions about how to divvy up a lethaldosage and how fast it can be transported to him.
An FBI agent responded to him and Budi took the bait, negotiating terms and price at $800 for the lethal dose. He shared shipping address information with the agent and it was traced to a friend who helped them confirm his identity while Budi himself was in California. To establish contact, law enforcement waited till June for him to come claim the package from his friend and there apprehended him.
Budi was invested in spending more $4000 to achieve his aim even after several supposed failed attempts and being duped
However earlier on in May, Budi contacted a Homeland Security agent in New York enquiring about a hitman. The agent led him to believe he was in contact with an actual mercenary and negotiated a deal with him. Budi was willing to pay $4,000 USD and requested picture proof of a job well done. He then went ahead to share his phone number with the agent which was later traced to him and revealed his identity.
Major details about the case are all hush hush, and addressing this, undercover Homeland Security Agent, Christopher Nasca shared that he had reservations about disclosing the name of the darkweb site Budi scouted him from.
Disclosure of the name of the site would potentially alert users to the fact that law enforcement action is being taken against the site, potentially provoking users to notify other users of law enforcement action, flee, and/or destroy evidence.
Adding that revealing additional details would jeopardize current and possible future cases.
Budi was charged with using interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire. Not long after, he was indicted by grand jury with another charge of attempted possession of radioactive material with intent to cause death.
Based on these two charges, he will now serve time in federal prison for attempting to commit those crimes as well as endure two additional years of supervision after he is released. Sentencing was handed down by Judge Robert J. Conrad Jr. and the prosecution headed by the US Attorney’s Office was greatly supported by Homeland Security and the FBI in New York, Washington D.C and California as well as the Department of Justice.
Some have shared that this is an indication that these activities are being carriedout over the dark web, albeit not as popular as the sale of illicit drugs and pornography, however the anonymity these facilities provide could be furthering the cause and creating a market not only for these crimes but allow for more serious crimes like terrorism and contract kills to be perpetuated online.
Law enforcement is gearing up and increasing its efforts to apprehend these criminals and the stringent laws and precedents being set in various countries, especially the US is going to ensure that the scapegoats found wanting are put away for an awfully long time.