Missouri man gets prison for trying to buy chemical weapon

Associated Press
Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for trying to buy a chemical weapon on the dark web as part of a plot to kill a woman who had broken up with him, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Jason William Siesser, 46, of Columbia, was sentenced Tuesday in Jefferson City's federal court, prosecutors said in a news release. Last year, Siesser pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to acquire a chemical weapon and one count of aggravated identity theft. 

Investigators said Siesser tried twice in 2018 to buy chemical dimethylmercury using bitcoin. He is accused of placing the order in the name of a juvenile, but authorities said he was the person who accepted the package he thought contained the chemical when it was delivered. Authorities said the amount Siesser sought would have been enough to kill hundreds of people.

Law enforcement officers carried out a search warrant after delivery of the package, which contained a harmless, inert substance. Investigators found the package on a top of a shelf in Siesser's garage, as well as earlier delivered packages containing the toxin cadmium arsenide, cadmium metal and hydrochloric acid.

Prosecutors had previously said that they did not believe a public attack was planned.