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Bizarre plot to kill someone with radioactive food ends with guilty plea by NC man

Bryant Budi of Matthews, pleaded guilty to attempted possession of radioactive material with intent to cause death or serious injury.
Bryant Budi of Matthews, pleaded guilty to attempted possession of radioactive material with intent to cause death or serious injury.

A North Carolina man pleaded guilty this week to concocting a murder plot that called for sprinkling radioactive material on the food of a man he said was making his life “a living hell,” according to court documents.

Bryant Riyanto Budi, 27, of Matthews, was charged with attempted possession of radioactive material with intent to cause death or serious bodily injury to another person, according to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Justice.

A sentencing date has not been set, but the charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, the justice department release said.

Documents filed by U.S Attorney Andrew Murray on Friday said Budi tried for nearly six weeks to buy a lethal does of radioactive material online earlier this year. What Budi didn’t realize is that his online contact was “an FBI covert employee,” said Murray.

“Budi expressed his intent to use the radioactive substance to kill an unnamed individual,” Murray said in the release.

“On May 31, 2018, a package containing an inert substitute for the radioactive material ordered by Budi was delivered to an address in Charlotte. . . . Law enforcement arrested Budi on June 1,” Murray said.

A June 5 story in The Charlotte Observer cited court documents that reported Budi tried several ways to kill the intended victim, including poisoning a drink, and trying to hire more than one contract hit man.

An affidavit obtained by the Observer reported Budi was seeking revenge against a 30-year-old Charlotte man he believed had “been making my life a living hell and extorting me for a year.”

The intended victim has never been identified in court.

Budi was quoted in the affidavit as saying his first attempt to poison the man failed, because the poison “tasted bitter as soon as he took a swig (and) he threw up,” according to the June Charlotte Observer story.

In a second attempt, he said he hired a hit man who stole his money and left without doing “the job,” the Observer reported.

Houston County Superior Court Judge George F. Nunn sentences Devasko Lewis of Cordele to life in prison without parole plus 10 years on April 23, 2015, for hiring another man to kill a federal witness in a pending trucking case against him. The ki

Charlotte Observer reeporter Michael Gordon contributed.

Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs
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