April 6, 2012 |
NEW YORK — A federal court judge sentenced convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout to 25 years in prison on Thursday, but in a swipe at prosecutors said there was no convincing evidence that he would have committed crimes they alleged if he had not been the target of a sting operation. Judge Shira Scheindlin gave the 45-year-old Bout, known as the "Merchant of Death," the minimum mandatory sentence for conspiring to acquire and use antiaircraft missiles. She also sentenced him to 15 years on three other counts of conspiracy to kill Americans and conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC.
August 12, 2009 |
An arms dealer arrested by U.S. agents in a 2008 sting operation at a Bangkok hotel could go free this week after a Thai judge's unexpected decision Tuesday to reject an American request for extradition. Bangkok Criminal Court Judge Chittakorn Pattanasiri ruled that Viktor Bout's alleged crimes, which U.S. officials say involved a Colombian terrorist organization, actually would be classified as political offenses. Extradition is not allowed for political offenses. According to an indictment, Bout was attempting to sell more than 700 surface-to-air missiles, a massive cache of automatic weapons, and airplanes and helicopters to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which the U.S. considers a terrorist group.
April 10, 2008 |
Thai police dropped charges against a Russian accused of being one of the world's most prolific black-market arms dealers, saying they would proceed with hearings to extradite him to the United States. Viktor Bout, 41, faces several U.S. counts for allegedly arranging to sell and transport weapons, including portable surface-to-air missiles, to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Thai police official Phongphan Chayaphan said Bout would remain in detention pending extradition hearings, which he estimated would take 60 days.
May 7, 2008 |
U.S. prosecutors announced an indictment against a Russian arms dealer who they say tried to sell weapons to a U.S.-designated terrorist organization with the goal of killing Americans. The indictment charges Viktor Bout with four terrorism offenses, including conspiring to kill Americans, conspiring to kill U.S. officers or employees, conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and conspiring to acquire and use an antiaircraft missile.
June 11, 2008 |
HOLLYWOOD usually shuts down for the summer. After all, private beaches in Italy and the French Riviera await. But this year, anyone with even a fleeting interest in Democratic politics is being urged to stay in touch and keep the checkbook close at hand. It's going to be a long, hot, money-raising summer here for Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign. The Democratic contender will make a quick trip to Los Angeles on June 24 for a star-studded event at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
September 4, 2009 |
The alleged arms deal involved sit-down meetings in Paris and London, a front company in Kyrgyzstan and shipments via Colombia to the ultimate destination, Iran. But today, the notorious Belgian trafficker charged with arranging the scheme finds himself in a federal jail in Mobile, Ala. U.S. authorities say Jacques Monsieur, a swashbuckling 56-year-old known as "the Fox" and "the Field Marshal," conspired with an undercover agent to buy engines and parts for F-5 fighter planes for Iran.