An man in Oakland, California who plotted to poison his wife with a chemical mixture available for purchase on the dark web remains behind bars.
Sandford Bemi Faison, 41, supposedly logged onto his computer on Dec. 3, 2018 to ask a car engine-related question on an anonymous darknet forum.
However, his purpose was far from benign. Faison intended to instigate the murder of his wife in order to earn full custody of their children after their divorce.
Faison’s plan appeared to be going well until the poison’s vendor turned out to be an undercover FBI agent.
Agents bugged the package and then tracked it, making the arrest on Jan. 9 once Faison had returned to his home. Faison is currently awaiting trial and remains in federal custody.
Premeditations of Murder
Prior to beginning his dealings with the darknet vendor, Faison allegedly considered hiring a hitman in order to murder his wife.
He later admitted to deciding that this would be too expensive and turned his attentions to ordering a lethal dose of poison online.
According to an unsealed FBI criminal complaint obtained by local news outlets, Faison wanted to ensure his wife’s death within 18 months of purchasing the poison and went on to discuss his exact plans on a dark web message board.
In early December 2018, Faison wrote that he would ideally like his wife to be deceased after their divorce was finalized. He stated that he would be living with his wife for two months, during which time he expected to have easy access to her food and belongings.
As well as contemplating other ways to end his wife’s life, Faison also considered the numerous discrete ways in which he could expose his wife to the deadly substance.
He wrote of painting the chemical on surfaces with which she was guaranteed to come into contact such as door handles and her computer keyboard, adding it to the coffee maker and placing small amounts of the poison inside her shoes or on her feet while she was asleep.
After a history of domestic violence and marital issues throughout their eight-year marriage, Faison and his wife had filed for a divorce. Faison was aiming to secure custody of their two children by removing his wife from the picture.
Purchase Gone Wrong
Faison described their divorce proceedings as “contentious but civil,” and though their life insurance policy was relatively “minimal,” being under $30,000, Faison was fully aware he would be the prime suspect in his wife’s death regardless of the circumstances.
After deciding that poisoning his wife was the best course of action, in December 2018 Faison made a purchase of $95 using Bitcoin.
He paid for a 10 milliliter chemical vial and had a request for the vendor to ship the purchase to an adult store near his residence in Oakland.
Unfortunately for Faison, the vendor was an undercover FBI agent—the latest of many undercover law enforcement operations on the dark web.
After the purchase was made, the FBI was alerted whereupon they inserted tracking equipment into the package. The box was sent out on Jan. 9.
Faison opened the package at 7 p.m. Just an hour later, the federal agents were at his doorstep with a search warrant.
During their search, the officers discovered protective equipment that Faison had ordered on Amazon in order to protect himself during his handling of the chemical.
Among the supplies, there was the phone Faison used for his dark web purchase, a respirator and a set of gloves.
After his arrest, Faison admitted his intentions in a recorded interview.
He is currently in federal custody, facing charges regarding his attempt to acquire a chemical weapon with the intent to murder his wife.