This seems like something you would only see in the movies or a crime show but it was a plot that unfolded right here in Hoosick Falls. Fortunately, there was an anonymous tip to the Albany FBI that thwarted a murder-for-hire plot of two local residents.
Who Wanted Two Hoosick Falls Residents Killed?
Christopher Pence who lives in West Cedar City, Utah concocted a plan to hire someone to kill two people in Hoosick Falls apparently because of a custody dispute. Pence's family had legally adopted five of their children and it had been getting heated between the two families. The intended victims wanted to regain custody of their kids but reported Pence's family to child welfare. This enraged Pence.
How Did Pence Plan to Execute the Murders?
Federal Prosecutors said that Pence went on the dark web to solicit the murder-for-hire plot. Pence agreed to pay nearly sixteen thousand dollars in cryptocurrency to execute the plan. He told the confidential informant to make it look like a robbery attempt.
How Did The Plan Get Intercepted?
A tipster alerted the FBI in Albany that Christopher Pence hired them to carry out the plan. The confidential informant gave the FBI records and communications showing that Pence attempted to hire them. The records indicated that the payment of $16,000 worth of Bitcoin would be paid in exchange for the murders.
How Was The Murder-For-Hire Linked to Pence?
According to the affidavit,
The anonymous user provided the site administrator with the names, addresses, and photographs of the intended victims, as well as the manner in which the killing should take place. Specifically, the user advised that the killing should be made to look like an accident or botched robbery, and that, if possible, care should be taken to not harm any of the three children known to be in the care of the intended victims.
The two Hoosick Falls residents told FBI investigators that they recognized Pence in the photos provided according to Syracuse.com.
Pence will be transferred from Utah to the Northern District of New York where he will be arraigned.