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Jailed Spam King Caught Conspiring to Kill Witness 290

An anonymous reader writes "Spam king Christopher William Smith, aka Rizler, is facing up to life in prison for conspiracy to tamper with a witness and up to 20 years for endeavoring to obstruct justice. The charges are based on an alleged phone call in which he threatened to have a witness or the witness' family killed to prevent them from testifying against him in an upcoming trial on drug and related charges.
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Jailed Spam King Caught Conspiring to Kill Witness

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  • by metlin ( 258108 ) * on Friday March 24, 2006 @03:47PM (#14990154) Journal

    I could be wrong, but his spamming and his current indictment seem unrelated.

    From the article:

    "Although Smith allegedly built his pharmacy business from spam-related profits, it doesn't appear that Smith actually sent spam to advertise the pharmacy sites. Witnesses told investigators that he bought ads in magazines and had sales reps field calls at the Burnsville, MN offices of Online Payment Solutions."

    And from a previous article [] on him, it would seem that he spammed stuff different from his pharmacy biz.

    The latter seems to be the reason he tried silencing a witness, and it was for something that seems to be unrelated to his spamming biz.
  • So are the editors saying this isn't some legitimate, hard-working businessman just trying to make a buck on the internet? Yeah! Let him rot for all I care.
    • So are the editors saying this isn't some legitimate, hard-working businessman just trying to make a buck on the internet? Yeah! Let him rot for all I care.

      Yeah, he does not have Republican connections like former Enron executives. He forgot to make some "donations", tax deductible, of course.

  • by Brothernone ( 928252 ) on Friday March 24, 2006 @03:57PM (#14990243) Homepage
    Antother one bites the dust, hey hey!
  • Good! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mysticalfruit ( 533341 ) on Friday March 24, 2006 @03:57PM (#14990244) Homepage Journal
    We can only hope his ass is now the recepticle for junk male...
  • by psbrogna ( 611644 ) on Friday March 24, 2006 @03:57PM (#14990246)
    Having opt-out's slain is frowned upon by the legal system.
  • by chipset ( 639011 ) on Friday March 24, 2006 @03:59PM (#14990256) Homepage
    I always knew that spamming was a gateway crime. It only leads to something bigger!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Q:What do you call 1000 email spammers indicted on murder charges?

    A: A start.
  • by borawjm ( 747876 ) on Friday March 24, 2006 @04:02PM (#14990280)
    [Fooz] In a perfect world... spammers would get caught, go to jail, and share a cell with many men who have enlarged their penisses, taken Viagra and are looking for a new relationship.

    Looks like we are one step closer to this "perfect world" Fooz speaks of!

  • Crime 101 (Score:5, Funny)

    by sholden ( 12227 ) on Friday March 24, 2006 @04:06PM (#14990301) Homepage
    It was one of several calls made by Smith to numbers not linked with his defense attorney that officials at the Elk River facility monitored and recorded.

    Remember, when you're going to call someone from jail to discuss killing a witness have them steal your attorney's cell phone first...
    • Too complicated, too risky. Just make sure your hitman and your lawyer are the same person! Not only do you not have to worry about the situation that lead to this guy getting caught, you can also get a feel for how carrying out the assassination would affect the case. Plus, being a lawyer and being a hitman are both hard, so if you can find someone who is good at both he must be really smart!

      Not to mention the humurous one-liners he could spout about getting a victim's blood on his Armani suit, or how t
  • by techno-vampire ( 666512 ) on Friday March 24, 2006 @04:06PM (#14990303) Homepage
    As several posters pointed out, there's no evidence he spamvertised perscription drugs. However, when he started the drug business, he was already known as a spam king.

    Now, he's in jail, using the jail's phone to set up witness intimidation and, possibly, murder. Anybody who thinks jail phones aren't monitored is a fool. It just goes to show: spammers are stupid.

  • Sounds like he's gonna get smoked []!

    (or in other words "In Soviet Spamerica, Rizler threatens to smoke YOU!")

  • C1@lis can help! Order now!!

  • by numbski ( 515011 ) * <> on Friday March 24, 2006 @04:16PM (#14990376) Homepage Journal
    WTF is this world coming to? Our children turn evil this quick now? g []

    I mean good lord. He amassed that kind of wealth that quickly, is now in jail and was threatening to kill another human being.

    So sad...I don't feel bad for him, per se...but it makes me sick...
    • That's the first thing I thought when I was the picture. I mean, I could probably afford to buy a Tahoe, but the other cars on the list...
    • by Lispy ( 136512 ) on Friday March 24, 2006 @04:41PM (#14990544) Homepage
      He didn't turn evil. He just turned greedy and stupid.
      And yes, this happends to our kids rather quickly nowadays.
      • Sooooo ... threatening to kill people is not evil, and is only some sort of side effect of being "greedy and stupid"? Really?

        At which time does threatening to kill people for selfish reasons BECOME evil, chum?
    • Yeah, it sure does make me sick, too! I mean, threatening to kill a witness is yet another crime, and then you have to kill the witness of that crime -- which is the original witness! Rizler's strategy is disgustingly inept! Only threaten to kill people you intend to kill anyway! In fact, skip the "threatening" step ... the prudent tactician goes right to the kill!

      The sad thing is, I'm not even sure I'm joking. I don't even have an MBA. :^P
    • I strongly suspect he's a sociopath with no conscience or actual sense of right and wrong. I.e. he was born "broken" and by many people's definition, evil.

      He's literally willing to do "whatever it takes" to keep himself in the life. Too bad for him he's also an idiot. The world is a better place with him behind bars. Let's hope he stays there for a very long time.

  • Maybe... (Score:4, Funny)

    by se2schul ( 667721 ) on Friday March 24, 2006 @04:17PM (#14990386)
    ...he received an unsolicited add for a hitman and decided to try it out.
  • I say we send him (Score:3, Insightful)

    by future assassin ( 639396 ) on Friday March 24, 2006 @04:18PM (#14990387) Homepage
    some snail mail packages containing order forms for Preperatin H.

    One thing I was thinking though, will we get more spam as spammers get more and more time for their crime. Instead of just your grandmas spamming from their computer part time we gonna get sophisticated criminal/spam organizations who will get into this as the chance jail time vs profit increases. Just like drug trafficing. The more time you get for it the more money you can make from it.

  • LOL... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Eric Damron ( 553630 ) on Friday March 24, 2006 @04:26PM (#14990443)
    William Smith

    Murcielago - $230,000.00
    Houses in Prior Lake and Burnsville - 1 Million dollars
    Being a high school dropout spammer stupid enough to use a jail phone to arrange a hit - Priceless!
    • Being a high school dropout spammer stupid enough to use a jail phone to arrange a hit - Priceless!

      Post Patriot Act, every phone is a jail phone.

  • They said that hubris was a sin and brought Nemesis to punish.

    Oh, the hubris! The hubris!

  • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Friday March 24, 2006 @04:31PM (#14990463) Journal
    Spammers are sociopaths. It seems for a lot of them that their disregard for basic decency also includes a disregard for basic adherence to the law. I bet a lot of them are guilty of actual definite crimes. It's just a matter of finding what they are. But we can find out who a lot of them are.
    • by bigberk ( 547360 ) <> on Friday March 24, 2006 @08:11PM (#14991860)
      I agree totally. It's not that sending spam causes you to do other crimes, it's that both spamming and other criminal activities are the results of a certain kind of mindset. Remember that spamming involves: collaboration with criminal elements (organized fleets of zombies probably tied to organized crime); theft of resources and offloading burdens onto victims; and lying and cheating innocent people, by selling them bogus products, stealing their money, and all the while profiting from it. Doing this as a spammer is somewhat easy because you're not stealing money from the consumers directly but acting as a middleman for any immoral marketer who wants access to the victims.

      A professional spammer is a selfish, greedy person who not only lacks compassion for other human beings but who actively seeks new ways to trick victims and steal their money and resources, all for personal gain. This is a tad worse than the typical marketer.

      Anyway, this is EXACTLY the kind of person who can be involved in other criminal activities, possibly even violent crime, because they lack empathy and concern for others in society.
  • They're the scourge of the universe.
  • From TFA:
    Christopher William Smith, also known as Chris Johnson, Bruce Jonson, Robert Jonson, Dieter W. Doneit-Schmitz, and Eric Smith, had amassed so much wealth from his pharmacy business that he could afford houses in Prior Lake and Burnsville and keep a fleet of luxury automobiles (2006 Mercedes Benz S65, 2004 Lamborghini Murciélago, 2005 Mercedes Benz C55A, 2001 Ferrari, 2001 BMW M5 Sedan, 2004 Mercedes Maybach, 2005 Jeep Wrangler, 2004 Cadillac DeVille Limousine, 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe, 2001 Hummer

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.