A tip from a chemical company to the FBI led Fairfax County police to a registered sex offender who’d failed to register his new email address.
Last month, New York-based Ward's Natural Science alerted the FBI that 22-year-old Basil Hall Jr. was trying to buy chloroform on the Internet. Hall was convicted in 2008 of taking indecent liberties with a child and served one year of a five-year sentence and was placed on probation.
Detectives confronted Hall at the computer repair store where he worked. Search warrant documents show Hall admitted trying to purchase chloroform. When asked what he knew about the substance, he told detectives it was used to "knock you out." He also said he planned to test it on himself.
Police also discovered Hall had failed to report a new email address -- a violation of Sex Offender Registry rules. His probation was revoked and he was jailed.
A spokesman for Ward’s Natural Science said that because the products are intended for teacher and science experiments, they routinely check up on buyers.
The owner of the computer repair store where Hall was originally trained and later worked said he took the young man in as a favor to a client who knew Hall's parents. He praised Hall's work.