A retired teacher pleaded guilty to attempting to hire a hitman on the dark web to kill his wife.
According to court records 59-year-old Nelson Paul Replogle, of Knoxville, Tennessee, admitted paying for a hitman on a darkweb murder-for-hire site. Replogle had paid the hitman to kill his wife, Ann Replogle, and make the killing look like a “road rage or a carjacking gone wrong.”
Replogle’s murder-for-hire plot was brought to the attention of the FBI on February 20, 2021, by the BBC. The BBC told the FBI that they had learned of a murder-for-hire plot arranged against Ann Replogle of Knoxville.
The FBI notified the Knox County Sheriff’s Office of the plot and asked them to go to Replogle’s residence and check on the target. FBI agents then questioned the couple and asked them if they knew of anyone who would want to harm Mrs. Replogle. The couple said they did not.
On being questioned separately Replogle told the agents that he had not paid to have his wife killed and that he could not think of anyone who would want her dead.
The BBC contacted the FBI agents and gave them more information they had acquired on the murder-for-hire plot. The BBC told the FBI that the hitman had been told to kill Replogle’s wife when on her way to a veterinarian appointment. The hitman had been given a detailed description of the target’s vehicle, and the date, time, and place of the veterinarian appointment.
The FBI was also informed that a payment of approximately $17,853 in bitcoin had been sent to the murder-for-hire site. Analysis of the bitcoin transaction led the investigators to Coinbase. Coinbase shared information that showed that the bitcoin had been sent from Replogle’s account. Further investigations revealed that the bitcoin had been bought with funds from Replogle’s First Horizon Bank savings account. The investigators also found out that the IP address used when the transaction was made belonged to Replogle according to AT&T records.
These discoveries resulted in Replogle’s arrest on April 21. Replogle pleaded guilty to one count of a murder-for-hire plot on October 25.
The defendant’s sentencing is scheduled for February 22, 2022. He could be sentenced to a maximum of ten years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a supervised release of three years.