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NJ Man Sentenced for Paying $20K in Bitcoin to Have 14-Year-Old Murdered

Camden County

“ By: Yuritza Arroyo

A Camden County man was sentenced to 78 months in prison for paying $20,000 in bitcoin to have a 14-year-old child murdered, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

According to federal officials, John Michael Musbach, 34, of Haddonfield, previously pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with one count of knowingly and intentionally using and causing another to use a facility of interstate and foreign commerce, that is the internet, with the intent that a murder be committed.

In officials said the summer of 2015, Musbach exchanged via the internet sexually explicit photographs and videos with the victim, a 13-year-old living in New York.

“ According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

The victim’s parents found out about the inappropriate contact and contacted the local police.

Upon identifying Musbach, then a resident of Atlantic County, New Jersey, New York law enforcement officers reached out to the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office (ACPO).

Court documents state, in March 2016, officers from the ACPO arrested Musbach on child pornography charges and executed a search warrant at his residence, then in Galloway, New Jersey.

Musbach decided to have the victim killed so that the victim could not testify against him in the pending criminal case.

According to the authorities, during the period from May 7, 2016, through May 20, 2016, Musbach repeatedly communicated with the administrator of a murder-for-hire website, which operated on the dark net, and which purported to offer contract killings or other acts of violence in return for payment in cryptocurrency, and arranged for a murder-for-hire.

Musbach asked if a 14-year-old was too young to target, and upon hearing that the age was not a problem, paid approximately 40 bitcoin (approximately $20,000 at the time) for the hit.

Authorities said Musbach repeatedly messaged the website’s administrator following up on the hit and asking when it would occur.  

When pressed for an additional $5,000 to secure the hit, Musbach eventually sought to cancel and asked for a refund of his $20,000.

The website’s administrator then revealed that the website was a scam and threatened to reveal Musbach’s information to law enforcement.

In addition to the prison term, Musbach was sentenced to three years of supervised release and fined him $30,000.