"Spam King" allegedly conspired to kill witness from jail

According to the Associated Press, "Spam King" and online drugstore operator Christopher William Smith, aka Rizler, was caught conspiring by phone from his jail cell to have a prosecution witness killed, as he awaits trial on charges of illegally selling prescription drugs over the Internet and phone.

Smith was indicted this week on one count of conspiracy to tamper with a witness and one count of endeavoring to obstruct justice, the AP said.

The AP reported that the indictment says Smith's phone call to an acquaintance from inside a jail in Elk River, Minn., was recorded by authorities and that he also talked about having the witness' family killed. Smith pleaded not guilty at his arraignment, according to this report on the Spam Kings Blog.

Smith allegedly built his pharmacy business from spam-related profits that made him rich enough to afford several expensive homes and a "fleet of luxury automobiles," the Spam Daily News reported.

About the author

Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service, and the Associated Press. E-mail Elinor.

 

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