A Mississippi woman is accused of attempting to hire a hitman via the internet and paying for the slaying with Bitcoin, authorities said.
Authorities arrested Jessica Leann Sledge, 39, on Nov. 2 and charged her with the use of an interstate commerce facility in the commission of a murder-for-hire.
Sledge allegedly made around $10,000 in three Bitcoin payments to the purported killer between Oct. 4 and Oct. 10, states a probable cause affidavit obtained by FrontPageDetectives.
On Oct. 22, an undercover agent called Sledge and impersonated the hitman she believed she had contracted, the documents claim, and the pair had “extensive conversations” with each other over the next four days.
“During these conversations, Sledge provided specific information concerning [the target] to the [undercover agent,” including via phone calls and WhatsApp, authorities wrote in the affidavit.
WhatsApp, law enforcement noted, uses interstate commerce facilities to allow individuals to communicate.
The undercover agent recorded the alleged conversations and the affidavit states that “Sledge confirmed that she was paying for the murder of [the target].”
Sledge allegedly also provided the agent with multiple photos of the target and several vehicles the target normally drives, as well as license plate details.
On Oct. 26 around 8:20 a.m., the affidavit claims, Sledge contacted the undercover agent via WhatsApp and said the target was heading to a Marathon gas station in Pelahatchie to get breakfast and described the target’s vehicle.
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Agents surveilling the gas station confirmed the target arrived in the vehicle Sledge had described and took a photograph and sent it to Sledge, “who confirmed that the person in the photograph was the intended target,” the affidavit states.
Six days later, on Nov. 1, Sledge allegedly met with the undercover agent she believed was the assassin she hired in Rankin County. She made an additional cash payment and discussed the murder, the affidavit claims.
The target was unharmed in the alleged scheme.
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