Jason William Siesser, 45, of Columbia pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to attempting to buy a chemical weapon that can kill hundreds of people.

Siesser purchased a total of five 10 milliliter units of the chemical weapon on the dark web by using Bitcoin, a digital crypto currency, according to a Tuesday news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri. He admitted the purchase was not made with a peaceful intent.

Siesser was found to have heartache, anger and resentment over a breakup, based on the evidence. He also had a desire to kill the person who caused his heartache, according to the release.

Siesser faces a minimum of a five-year sentence and a maximum of a life sentence in federal prison without parole. His sentence will be determined by the court following advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors, according to the release.

He ordered the first two units July 4, 2018, and offered the seller a shipping address with the name of a juvenile, whose identity was used without authorization. However, the seller did not ship the chemical weapon to him, according to the release.

On Aug 5, 2018, he ordered another three units worth $150, which can kill about 300 people, according to the release.

A package that contained an inert substance was delivered to Siesser’s residence Aug 23, 2018. Siesser signed and took it back in his room, believing it contained the chemical weapon that he had ordered according to the release. 

Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant and found the inert substance in Siesser's garage. The officers also found approximately 10 grams of cadmium arsenide, about 100 grams of cadmium metal and about 500 milliliters of hydrochloric acid, which were all ordered on March 30, 2018, according to the release.

It can be fatal if people ingest or inhale cadmium arsenide, according to the release.

Siesser also pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft. A sentence hearing will be scheduled after the U.S Probation Office completes the presentence investigation, according to the release.

  • General assignment reporter, summer 2020. Studying news reporting. Please reach me at feiyusu@mail.missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5720.

  • As senior editor of the Missourian, Fred Anklam manages general assignment reporters. He can be reached at anklamf@missouri.edu or in the newsroom at 573-882-5720.

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