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Man paid hitman in Bitcoin to make planned killings look like botched robbery, feds say

Getty Images/istockphoto

A Utah man pleaded guilty to hiring a hitman and trying to arrange the killing of two people in New York, federal officials said.

Between July 2021 and August 2021, Christopher Pence, 43, of Cedar City, went to the dark web to arrange for a hitman to kill two people in Rensselaer County, about 160 miles north of New York City, according to a Dec. 6 news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York.

On the website, Pence paid $16,000 worth of Bitcoin to an administrator and wanted the killings made to seem like a “botched robbery” or an “accident,” officials said.

He sent the names and the address of the people, along with photos of them, officials said.

Pence also requested for the kids in the home not to be harmed, officials said.

Pence’s relationship to the intended victims was not mentioned.

No one got hurt, and Pence was arrested in October 2021, the release said. He has been in federal custody since.

Pence faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, officials said. He is scheduled to be sentenced in April.

Cedar City is about 250 miles southwest of Salt Lake City.

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