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Culpeper Woman Arrested in Dark Web Murder-for-Hire Plot

Culpeper Woman Arrested in Dark Web Murder-for-Hire Plot

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A Culpeper woman, who went online in an attempt to hire a hitman using bitcoin, was arrested today on federal criminal charges.

According to court documents, Annie Nicole Ritenour, 25, placed an “order” via a Dark Web website that advertised murder-for-hire services. Ritenour created an account with the website and deposited approximately $3,200 in bitcoin to hire a hitman to kill her intended victim. To further assist with her “order,” Ritenour uploaded photos of her intended victim, as well as other personal information, including their place of employment, type of vehicle they own, and the best time and place to kill them.

“This case highlights the need for more intense federal enforcement of the cyber security protocols of the Internet,” United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh said today. “The United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia has made cybercrime a priority for this exact reason, and this murder-for-hire plot serves as an example of why we need to remain vigilant in the policing of those dark corners of the web where cybercrime thrives.”

“Upon learning of the murder-for-hire plot, the FBI moved quickly to ensure the safety of the intended victim and identified Ms. Ritenour as the person responsible for the threat,” Acting Special Agent in Charge Neil Mathison said today. “The FBI reminds the public that making threats online or using the Dark Web to hire someone to harm another has serious consequences, and we will work with our law enforcement partners and the United States Attorney’s Office to hold criminals accountable.”

Ritenour is charged with one count of solicitation to commit a crime of violence and one count of murder-for-hire. If convicted, Ritenour faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald M. Huber is prosecuting the case.

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A recent poll shows a tight race in Virginia

A recent poll shows a tight race in Virginia

A poll based on 944 interviews of registered Virginia voters who are likely general election voters conducted from October 17th to the 25th show Democrats holding a small but shrinking lead across the board. Research Director Dr. Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo explains that Terry McAuliffe is facing strong headwinds.

10-27 poll wrap 2-WEB

CLICK HERE for the the poll results

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Youngkin tells Roanoke County crowd there’s a clear choice on election day

Youngkin tells Roanoke County crowd there’s a clear choice on election day

Youngkin – Clark Palmer photo

A rally in southwest Roanoke County today drew a big crowd as Republican candidate for Governor Glenn Youngkin told the party faithful – with the polls now showing a dead heat – this is their moment, as he looks to block Democrat Terry McAuliffe from winning a second term on election day. Republican candidate for Attorney General Jason Miyares and local elected GOP officials also addressed the crowd.

10-27 Youngkin-WEB

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Martinsville race will decide NASCAR Final 4

Martinsville race will decide NASCAR Final 4

The cutoff to make the NASCAR Championship Final 4 at Phoenix Raceway a week from Sunday takes place with a race at Martinsville on Sunday. Clay Campbell is the track president:

WPLY-MIN

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Vaccine for children, booster shots make for busy Vax Center

Vaccine for children, booster shots make for busy Vax Center

Dr. Cynthia Morrow/VDH-VT photo

The Department of Health COVID vaccination center inside the former Sears store at Valley View Mall should be a very busy place over the next few months for several reasons. WFIR’s Gene Marrano explains why:

10-27 Morrow Wrap#2-WEB

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McAuliffe on the tight campaign for Governor

McAuliffe on the tight campaign for Governor

By next Tuesday night – or sometime early Wednesday morning – we should know who the next Governor of Virginia will be. The Democratic nominee is Terry McAuliffe – who was also the Governor before Ralph Northam. McAuliffe spoke recently with WFIR’s Gene Marrano and here is a Longer Listen:

10-27 McAuliffe Longer Listen

We will hear an extended conversation with Glenn Youngkin later this week.

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Faith based leaders push for vaccination

Faith based leaders push for vaccination

Dr. Danny Avula was on the Faith Leader’s Vax Boost virtual meeting to provide updates on the vaccines and booster shots…. WFIR’s Rob Ruthenberg has more

10-27 Vax wrap 2-WEB

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POLL: McAuliffe and Youngkin deadlocked for Virginia governor

POLL: McAuliffe and Youngkin deadlocked for Virginia governor

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe holds a 49% to 48% lead over Republican Glenn Youngkin in Virginia’s contest for governor, according to a survey of likely voters released today by the Wason Center for Civic Leadership at Christopher Newport University. McAuliffe’s 1-point lead is within the survey’s margin of error (+/-3.5%), a virtual tie in which third-party candidate Princess Blanding’s 1% share of the vote looms larger.

With voting underway in the Nov. 2 general election, Democrats also hold small but shrinking leads down-ballot. The race for lieutenant governor tracks the top of the ticket, with Democrat Hala Ayala showing a 1-point lead over Republican Winsome Sears, 49% to 48%. Seeking a third term, Attorney General Mark Herring narrowly leads Republican Jason Miyares 48% to 47%.

Republican likely voters are significantly more enthusiastic about voting in this election than Democrats (80% to 65% very enthusiastic), an advantage that has surged 9 points since the Oct. 8 Wason Center survey.

“McAuliffe is facing strong headwinds in a state that has historically selected governors from the party not in the White House and with a Democratic president whose approval rating is underwater,” said Wason Center Research Director Dr. Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo. “Republican voters also appear hungrier for a win and increasingly see a chance to take a statewide race for the first time since 2009.”

Democratic leads that showed in previous Wason Center polls during this election have all but disappeared.

Independent voters continue to favor all three Republican candidates, while partisans on both sides are locking into position for their party’s candidates. A large, mirrored gender gap has emerged, with male voters shifting towards Republican candidates (56% to 42%) and women moving towards Democratic candidates (56% to 40%). Regionally, the hotly contested Richmond/Central region has tilted significantly in Republicans’ favor since the Oct. 8 survey, going from a 3-point Republican lead to a 12-point Republican lead (55% to 43%) at the top of the ticket.

The results of this poll are based on 944 interviews of registered Virginia voters who are likely general election voters, including 446 on landline and 498 on cell phone, conducted October 17-25, 2021. The full report is attached and online at https://cnu.edu/wasoncenter/.

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