When sheriff’s deputies and FBI brokers knocked on the door of a married couple’s residence in east Tennessee earlier this yr with a information tip in hand, the person who answered the door reportedly advised investigators he couldn’t consider anybody who may need to hurt his spouse, Ann.
At some point later, he was charged with orchestrating a murder-for-hire plot on her life.
Nelson Paul Replogle pleaded guilty to federal charges within the Jap District of Tennessee on Monday after investigators stated he paid successful man $17,853 in Bitcoin to kill his spouse on her option to a veterinarian appointment with the household pet and make it seem like a road-rage incident or carjacking gone unsuitable.
The alleged plot was foiled by an unnamed supply, who investigators stated tipped off the British Broadcasting Corp., or BBC. The BBC then handed the tip on to the FBI.
A protection lawyer representing Replogle didn’t instantly reply to McClatchy Information’ request for touch upon Tuesday.
Replogle has remained in custody since his arrest on April 21, court docket paperwork present. A Justice of the Peace choose who signed the detention order stated releasing Replogle may put his spouse at risk.
“Defendant is alleged to have utilized a digital foreign money by way of Bitcoin to rearrange the homicide for rent and the Authorities proffered on the listening to that he was discovered shredding paperwork previous to his arrest,” the choose wrote. “Defendant’s launch may pose a really actual menace to the protection of his spouse.”
In keeping with an affidavit filed in assist of the costs, Particular Agent Clay Anderson with the FBI was contacted on April 20 by the BBC a few “attainable menace to life homicide for rent” concerning a lady named Ann Replogle who lived in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Knoxville is about 30 miles west of the North Carolina border.
Anderson stated he contacted the Knox County Sheriff’s Workplace, who despatched deputies to Ann Replogle’s home to test on her. Anne and Nelson Replogle had been each house, although each advised deputies and the accompanying FBI brokers they didn’t know something a few menace on Ann’s life.
“Replogle was separated and interviewed alone and suggested he didn’t solicit the homicide of his spouse and that he couldn’t consider anybody who did,” Anderson stated within the affidavit.
Individually, Anderson touched base with the BBC to observe up on the supply of the tip. In keeping with the affidavit, the BBC despatched him a monetary transaction given to them by an unnamed supply, which appeared to point out fee to an unidentified particular person for the homicide of Ann Replogle. The data supplied within the change included the date and time of the would-be homicide in addition to the make, mannequin and shade of Ann Replogle’s automobile.
The fee was made with Bitcoin, the FBI agent stated.
Bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency or digital currency that isn’t operated by a centralized authority reminiscent of the federal government. Bitcoin will be despatched and obtained from distinctive addresses that perform equally to a checking account quantity, and it’s sometimes bought from a digital foreign money change.
In keeping with the affidavit, exchanges working within the U.S. are required to gather figuring out info from customers.
Whereas Bitcoin transactions don’t comprise such figuring out info, each transaction is logged on a public ledger generally known as the blockchain. Anderson stated investigators used the blockchain to hint the Bitcoin tackle that despatched the murder-for-hire fee to a digital foreign money change.
The change subsequently supplied investigators with the id of the particular person behind the transactions — Nelson Replogle, who Anderson stated bought the Bitcoin utilizing cash from a financial savings account to which Ann Replogle didn’t have entry.
Prosecutors filed a prison grievance with Anderson’s affidavit on April 21. Courtroom filings present the federal government requested Replogle stay in jail pending the case end result shortly thereafter, which the choose granted on Could 4.
Replogle pleaded responsible to 1 rely of homicide for rent.
He faces as much as 10 years in jail and a $250,000 high-quality when he’s sentenced Feb. 22, prosecutors stated.