Tampa, Florida– U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday today sentenced DeAnna Marie Stinson (50, Tampa) to six years and six months in federal prison for murder-for-hire. The Court also ordered Stinson to pay $11,403.22 in restitution to the victim of the offense and a $1,000 fine. Stinson had pleaded guilty on January 19, 2022.
According to court documents, on June 24, 2021, Stinson created an account on a dark web website (“The Website”) that purported to provide murder-for-hire services to its customers. The following day, Stinson submitted an “order” requesting that a hitman be assigned to complete a “quick hit in southern Florida” to kill the spouse of Stinson’s former significant other. In the order, Stinson provided the victim’s name, address, and a photograph of the victim. Between June and July 2021, Stinson sent four additional orders and over $12,000 in bitcoin to effectuate the hit. 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. 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.”
Law enforcement agents received information regarding Stinson’s criminal activity and obtained records from her virtual currency exchange account. The records showed that Stinson had paid Bitcoin to The Website. An agent contacted Stinson while acting in an undercover capacity as a hitman for The Website. In a recorded phone call, Stinson confirmed that she wanted the victim killed and agreed to send additional money to the undercover agent via Bitcoin so that the transaction could not be traced. On September 13, 2021, Stinson sent $350 in bitcoin to the undercover agent so that the agent could purchase a revolver to commit the murder.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Miami). It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lisa M. Thelwell.