A 28-year old North Carolina man was sentenced to 78 months in prison for going online to buy radio-active substance in order to kill his roommate by poisoning his food. Bryant Budi had earlier tried to hire a hit-man for the same purpose as the room-mate had allegedly been threatening to kill his family and was extorting money from him.
Why did the convict want to kill his roommate?
As per reports, the 30-year old roommate was homeless and had moved in with Budi. Apart from allegedly threatening to kill Budi's family, he was extorting money from him, an affidavit from Christopher Nasca of the Department of Homeland Security said.
Events and his eventual arrest
Budi first went online to hire a hit-man in the spring of 2018. What he didn't know was that he was negotiating with an undercover Homeland Security agent in New York. He had offered the undercover agent, posing as a hit-man, $4,000 for doing the job.
In emails sent to the agent, Budi said, "The previous person I hired didn't do the job and left with my money. So I am just making sure that I am not getting into the same hole again." He further said, "My enemy that I am trying to get has been making my life a living hell and extorting me for a year now."
In another email, he described his roommate: "He is 30 years old. lives inapt in Charlotte, NC. goes only to dollar tree and gas station (doesn't go anywhere). doesn't know fighting skill." For the murder, he told the agent to, "basically make it look like robbery went wrong. don't care what weapon you use, as long as you get it done."
During the same time, he tried to buy radio-active material. According to emails cited in the affidavit, Budi wrote, "Do you sell ricin as well? basically I want to use it for you know ... how much is a lethal dosage? How long would it take for a person to die if he/she ingest that? how much could I get for $500."
Another undercover FBI employee posing as a seller shipped him a placebo powder. Budi also admitted to poisoning his roommate earlier, but the man had thrown it up. In June 2018, federal agents arrested Budi.
Budi pleaded guilty to attempted possession of radioactive material with intent to cause death or serious bodily injury to another person. Though the maximum term for the crime is life imprisonment, he has been sentenced to 78 months in prison.
Budi becomes the first person in the United States to be convicted of trying to buy radioactive material to commit murder or cause serious bodily injury, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.