TAMPA, Fla. - Federal officers arrested a Tampa woman who was involved in a murder-for-hire plot, they say.
The Department of Justice said they arrested 50-year-old DeAnna Marie Stinson. According to Pinellas County Jail records, Stinson was booked on Thursday.
Investigators said Stinson created an online account on a dark web website, called "The Website," that provided murder-for-hire services on June 24. On the following day, they said she submitted an "order" to request a hitman to complete a "quick hit in southern Florida." The target was the spouse of Stinson’s former significant other.
The order included the victim’s name, address and photo, officials said. They said Stinson sent four additional orders and over $12,000 in Bitcoin for the service.
"During this time, Stinson repeatedly messaged administrators of The Website and purported hitmen, requesting that the ‘job’ be completed as soon as possible, and even offered a ‘bonus’ if the hit was completed by a specific date," according to a news release by the Department of Justice. "When Stinson had not received a status update from administrators of The Website, on July 31, 2021, Stinson requested that the administrators ‘reassign the job to someone who has a history of getting jobs done’ because she ‘need[ed] th[e] job done ASAP.’"
Eventually, law enforcement said they received information about Stinson’s murder-for-hire request. They said they obtained records from her Bitcoin account that showed her using the virtual currency through The Website.
An undercover agent contacted Stinson, posing as a hitman for The Website, officials said. They recorded a phone call with Stinson. She was heard confirming she wanted the victim killed and would send additional Bitcoin money "so that the transaction could not be traced," according to the DOJ.
Officials said Stinson sent $350 in Bitcoin to the undercover agent in order to purchase a revolver.
She faces charges of soliciting a crime of violence and murder-for-hire. If convicted, Stinson faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison.