A Weblog About Topics and Issues Discussed in the Book Spam Kings by Brian McWilliams

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March 22, 2006

US Attorney says Rizler threatened to kill witness

Just when it seemed his case couldn't get any weirder, new charges have been filed against spam king and online drugstore operator Christopher Smith, aka "Rizler."

According to a WCCO-TV report out of Minnesota, Smith was indicted yesterday for threatening to kill a prosecution witness in his upcoming trial over illegally operating an online drug store and other charges.

Seems Smith phoned a friend from Sherburne County Jail earlier this month and allegedly discussed plans to intimidate a witness and even have the witness or his/her family killed, to prevent the witness from testifying against him.

Apparently Smith didn't know the jail was monitoring and recording all calls made by Smith to numbers not linked with his defense attorney.

At his arraignment today, Smith pleaded not guilty.

In a press release today, the U.S. Attorney's office didn't specify which witness was targeted by Rizler. Check out some of the comments from former employees at the bottom of this earlier posting about the case, and you'll see there's plenty of animosity to go around.

Conspiring to tamper with a witness and endeavoring to obstruct justice both can draw penalties of up to twenty years, according to a report by the AP.

Smith has been jailed since last September, when he violated the terms of his release.

Smith had previously pleaded not guilty to charges including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, wire fraud, selling misbranded drugs and money laundering.

Posted by brian at March 22, 2006 11:19 PM


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