Kristy Lynn Felkins, 37, pleaded guilty to the use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder-for-hire plot in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, according to federal court records.
The criminal complaint filed in the case alleges that Felkins paid a dark web administrator 12 bitcoin to arrange for a hitman to murder her ex-husband.
That amounted to $5,000 in early 2016, when Felkins made the payment. The value of 12 bitcoin is now near $500,000.
Felkins would have been better off keeping the money, too. According to the complaint, the dark web administrator she allegedly opted to contact for her murder-for-hire needs was just a scam artist who ultimately took her money without performing the service he promised the single mom.
She then found herself in legal trouble when she was outed by a person convicted of possession child pornography, who, according to the complaint, “used a program to scrape … messages between the site’s administrator and its users. ”
This individual then provided law enforcement with the names of people who paid to have violent or criminal acts carried out by tracing their Bitcoin payments.
The complaint notes that this person was “not acting on behalf of the government” when they discovered and sent this information to members of the Northern California Illicit Digital Economy (NCIDE) task force.
That may be in large part because the individual who first flagged the allegations against Felkins “resided in a foreign country and was convicted of a crime in that country related to his possession of child pornography.”
According to the complaint, Felkins first reached out to the administrator of the site Besa Mafia in February 2016.
Besa Mafia is described in court filings as a “legitimate platform offering a variety of services, including murder, kidnapping, and assault, in exchange for cryptocurrency payments.”
For the next four months, “Felkins regularly communicated with the site administrator to pay and arrange for the murder of her ex-husband,” claims federal prosecutors.”
Soon after sending just over 12 bitcoin to the administrator of Besa Mafia, Felkins “provided the home address of [her ex-husband] and other information such as the time he left for work, vehicle information, and locations at which [her ex] could be located,” according to the complaint.
As time went on, Felkins would give more specific details such as her ex-husband’s home address, the airport he would be flying out of, and eventually the exact time and location of a Starbucks he would be visiting while in Chico, California.
The complaint also includes one exchange in which Felkins explained why she wants to have her husband killed:
I do stand to get money from this, but that isn’t the reason behind my motivation…. This man mentally, physically, sexually, and emotionally abused me. I ran, and then he took my children away from me. He now mentally abuses my children and threatens their physical well being. He is quite the snake and master manipulator….. I know I can get the 4000 in 4-5 weeks. And right now, the children are visiting grandparents, so they aren’t at risk of witnessing or possibly being involved. They are safe and comfortable. My family and friends are not people to have a lot of money, and I have already borrowed from them all they can give trying to settle things with him legally with lawyers. The money I have already sent to you was the last I had to pay the lawyers for the next battle we are up against. My bank accounts are bare from running, relocating, starting over, and Lawyers.  Not to mention I stand to get his retirement, our house, and possibly a large life insurance payout.
The administrator of the website continued to ask for more money without delivering on his initial promise. By April, communications ceased between Felkins and the Besa Mafia website.
Members of the NCIDE task force confirmed her identity after they matched the phone number used to purchase the bitcoin with her phone number, and her IP address was the same as the last IP address to access the bitcoin account used to pay Besa Mafia.
A stipulation signed by Felkins’ attorney as part of her plea deal with federal prosecutors states: “FELKINS admits that she used the internet, a facility in interstate and foreign commerce, to hire someone to murder [her ex-husband]. She further admits that she communicated with a representative of the group calling itself Besa Mafia with the intent of causing the murder of [her ex-husband]. FELKINS also admits that she sent a representative approximately twelve Bitcoin in exchange for the act of murdering [her ex-husband].”
Felkins is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley on June 16, 2022.
Read the Felkins complaint below:
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