CNN on March 12, 2012 released the following:
“By the CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) — U.S. authorities have extradited a suspect from Colombia whom they accuse of holding three American citizens hostage, the Justice Department said Monday.
Alexander Beltran Herrera, 35, was scheduled to be arraigned at 11:15 a.m. ET Monday in Washington on charges in connection with the hostage taking of Americans Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes and Keith Stansell.
Alleged leftist guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, abducted the three U.S. defense contractors in 2003, the Justice Department said. They were among 15 hostages freed in a 2008 rescue mission.
For part of a two-year period beginning in November 2004, Beltran Herrera was responsible for moving the hostages and keeping them imprisoned, the Justice Department said in a statement Monday.
“Throughout the captivity of these three hostages, FARC jailors and guards, including Beltran Herrera, used choke harnesses, chains, padlocks and wires to restrain the hostages, and used force and threats to continue their detention and prevent their escape,” the statement said.
Beltran Herrera is an accused member of the FARC, the Justice Department said.
A federal indictment charges Beltran Herrera with one count of conspiracy to commit hostage taking, three counts of hostage taking, one count of using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of the charges.
The indictment names 17 other accused members of the FARC as defendants.
“Today’s extradition underscores our resolve to hold accountable all those responsible for this crime and we will not rest until every one of them is brought to justice,” said Lisa Monaco, assistant attorney general for national security, in a statement.”
Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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