Will US boot Bout back to Russia?

July 18, 2012

RT on July 18, 2012 released the following:

“According to the executive director of an international NGO, the US attorney general is considering the possibility of extraditing two Russian nationals sentenced in the US to lengthy prison terms for arms and drugs trafficking.

“We learned that US Attorney General Eric Holder is considering the return of Victor Bout to Russia, along with another Russian arms and drugs trafficker, Konstantin Yaroshenko,” Kathi Lynn Austin, the Executive Director of the Conflict Awareness Project, told reporters on the sidelines of the UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty in New York on Tuesday.

However, Austin expressed reservations about allowing the Russians to serve out the remainder of their prison sentences in their homeland.

“Allowing Bout a transfer to Russia would pose a risk both to international peace and security as well as to US interests,” said Austin, an arms trafficking expert.

Russian Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov told journalists that although the necessary steps are being taken to arrange for Bout’s return to Russia, the extradition is not likely to happen soon. Konovalov said the US courts require any individual convicted in the United States to serve at least half of his sentence in a US prison.

The minister added that so far the Russian national’s extradition is only being discussed at the diplomatic level.

The former Soviet officer, who founded an air cargo company, was convicted of “conspiracy to kill Americans” and supply arms to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC), which the US government lists as a terrorist organization. He was sentenced in November to 25 years in prison by the New York Federal Court.

Bout, who is said to have been the inspiration behind the 2005 Hollywood film, Lord of War, maintained throughout his ordeal that he would never get a fair trial in the United States.

At the same time, the Justice Ministry has applied for the transfer of Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot sentenced to a 20-year prison term on drug-trafficking charges.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


Drug Trafficker Extradited from Colombia to US

October 20, 2011

On Tuesday, October 18, 2011 the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York released the following:

Joint Undercover Operation Between The DEA And The Government Of Liberia Led To Charges in June 2010 Against The Defendant And Eight Other Individuals. Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the arrival of Marcel Acevedo Sarmiento, who was extradited from Colombia on charges that he conspired to import cocaine into the United States. Acevedo arrived Thursday, October 13, 2011 and was presented and arraigned on Friday, October 14, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff. The charges against Acevedo arise out of a historic joint undercover operation, “Operation Relentless,” between the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) and the Government of Liberia.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Bharara stated: “As alleged, Marcel Acevedo Sarmiento was prepared to facilitate the importation of prodigious quantities of cocaine into Liberia so that he and his co-conspirators could resell it in countries around the world, including the United States, and reap millions of dollars in profits. Thanks to the tremendous efforts of the DEA and our international law enforcement partners, his alleged plans were thwarted and he will now face American justice. ”

According to the Indictment, documents previously filed in Manhattan federal court, and other information in the public record:

During the last decade, drug trafficking organizations based in South America have increasingly used countries along, or near, the West African coast as trans-shipment hubs for importing massive quantities of cocaine to be later distributed in Europe or elsewhere within Africa. Through a combination of privately owned aircraft and maritime vessels, these organizations, predominantly based in Colombia and Venezuela, have transported hundreds of tons of cocaine, worth billions of dollars, to West African countries, including Liberia.

Acevedo is an alleged cocaine supplier based in Colombia and Venezuela, who was capable of transporting thousand-kilogram quantities of cocaine from South America to various locations in West Africa, for distribution within Africa and for further distribution to Europe and elsewhere. ACEVEDO worked in the international drug business with other members of the conspiracy charged in the Indictment, including in connection with a 4,000 kilogram shipment of cocaine which was to be flown from Venezuela to Monrovia, Liberia, for a retail value of over $100 million.

In a series of recorded telephone conversations with a confidential source working for the DEA (“the CS”), Acevedo, who claimed to have been involved in the cocaine trafficking business for over 20 years, coordinated efforts to arrange what was ultimately supposed to be a shipment of between 2,000 and 2,500 kilograms of cocaine on a plane from Venezuela to Liberia. Acevedo confirmed to the CS that the cocaine shipment had been protected by the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (the “FARC”), an international terrorist group dedicated to the violent overthrow of the democratically elected Government of Colombia.

On May 29, 2010, Acevedo indicated that Venezuelan authorities had seized his plane as well as the cocaine that it contained, and had directed him to leave the country. After apprising the CS of the seizure, Acevedo invited the CS to invest 500 kilograms in a new shipment out of Bolivia, which Acevedo understood the CS intended to import into New York. Acevedo instructed the CS to wire transfer a $100,000 payment to him, and provided the CS with the relevant bank account information for the transfer.

Acevedo is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, knowing and intending that the cocaine would be imported into the United States. This offense carries a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison and a maximum term of life in prison.

Acevedo was charged along with CHIGBO PETER UMEH, KONSTANTIN YAROSHENKO, NATHANIAL FRENCH, KUDUFIA MAWUKO and JORGE IVAN SALAZAR CASTANO. UMEH and YAROSHENKO were convicted following a jury trial in April 2011 and sentenced to thirty years in prison and twenty years in prison, respectively.

FRENCH and MAWUKO were acquitted after trial. CASTANO is incarcerated in Spain, awaiting extradition to the United States.

Mr. Bharara praised the work of the Special Operations Division of the DEA, the DEA Lagos Country Office, the DEA Bogota Country Office, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of International Affairs, the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Embassy in Liberia, and the Republic of Liberia and its National Security Agency.

This prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys JENNA M. DABBS, RANDALL JACKSON, CHRISTOPHER LAVIGNE, and MICHAEL M. ROSENSAFT are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Colombia here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Russia Condemns US Extradition of Russian Pilot

July 22, 2010

The Russian Foreign Ministry accused the U.S. on Wednesday of “kidnapping” a Russian pilot in the West African country of Liberia several weeks ago for alleged drug smuggling.

Konstantin Yaroshenko, 41, was arrested in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, in late May — by U.S. agents, Russian officials said — and then extradited to New York without notifying Russian officials first.

He has been accused of smuggling large amounts of cocaine throughout South America, Africa and Europe.

DEA spokeswoman Dawn Dearden said Yaroshenko was apprehended May 28 by Liberian authorities, who turned him over to the DEA two days later under an arrest warrant issued by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry sharply condemned Yaroshenko’s arrest and extradition.

Yaroshenko’s lawyer, Alexander Bozhenko, was quoted Wednesday by RIA news agency as saying that the way Yaroshenko was arrested violated the law, and that Yaroshenko was kept tied up in a hotel room, naked and without water, for two days before his extradition.

Yaroshenko’s U.S. lawyer, Sam Schmidt, said Wednesday that it was his “understanding was he was not treated well” in Liberia after his arrest. His client is “doing OK” physically now that he is in the U.S. prison system, he added.

He said Yaroshenko was not extradited but instead was expelled by the Liberian government just before he was taken into custody by Liberian authorities and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and brought to New York.

Apparently, the DEA took Yaroshenko into custody without notifying the Russian embassy, consulate or anyone else.

Charges filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan allege Yaroshenko was an aircraft pilot who transported cocaine throughout South America, Africa and Europe.

In recent years, drug cartels have used West Africa as a major transit point for shipment of vast quantities of cocaine to Europe and the U.S.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

Bookmark and Share