A Columbia, Missouri man who pleaded guilty to attempting to buy chemical weapons has been sentenced.
Jason William Siesser, 46, pleaded guilty in August to one count of attempting to acquire a chemical weapon and one count of aggravated identity theft. He was sentenced this week to 12 years in federal prison without parole, the maximum sentence recommended.
Siesser first tried to make the chemical purchases in 2018 using Bitcoin, a type of digital currency, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. When he received a controlled shipment Aug. 23, 2018, set up by the FBI at his Southhampton Drive home, the package contained a harmless substance.
Had Siesser received real units of the chemical, the quantity he ordered had the potential to kill 300 people, according to the authorities.
During his trial, evidence indicated he had ordered the chemicals to kill an ex-lover.
Siesser attempted two separate purchases of the deadly chemical between June and August 2018, when he was arrested, the Justice Department reported.
The plea agreement and other documents describe the poison as “so toxic that only a drop or two could kill someone after months of suffering.”
After Siesser accepted the harmless shipment, federal authorities executed a search warrant at his home.
He had provided a shipping address with the name of a juvenile.
Law enforcement found the harmless substance in his garage, along with two additional shipment boxes containing 10 grams of toxic cadmium arsenide, around 100 grams of cadmium metal and about one-half liter of hydrochloric acid. Cadmium arsenide is deadly if ingested or inhaled. An invoice found during the search showed the acid, cadmium arsenide and cadmium metal were purchased March 30, 2018.
Agents also discovered a motive for his attempts to obtain the chemical weapon. Siesser had writings in his home indicating his mental state.
“Writings located within the home articulated heartache, anger and resentment over a breakup and a desire for the unidentified cause of the heartache to die,” the plea agreement stated. “In part, one of these writings stated: ‘I wish I’d never met you but now it’s not too late. The things you’ve taught me showed me a new kind of love. Our early ending was all wrong. You discarded me like trash but look how I got strong.’”
In another writing, Siesser expressed his desire that the unnamed person die a lingering death.
“Right now your happy,” he wrote. “But that won’t last My anger is coming And you won’t die fast!”
Siesser had sought the chemical weapon from a legitimate supplier but was refused because he did not have the required permits. He told investigators at the time of his arrest he was going to use the chemical to conduct bio-hacking, a form of gene manipulation.
Investigators learned Siesser had “no education or training in chemistry or genetics, no equipment to complete the experiments and had not yet decided what experiments he intended to conduct.”
Siesser had two relationships “that had left him brokenhearted,” the plea agreement stated. One was a marriage to a woman with whom he lived in the Netherlands, and the other was a woman he met in Columbia. She broke up with him after three dates.
“The defendant wrote fictional stories about men exacting vengeance on ex-girlfriends,” the plea agreement states, with deaths from asbestos exposure and oxygen deprivation.
As part of the plea, federal prosecutors dropped two other counts related to identity theft.
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