Arms Dealer Victor Bout Gets 25 Years in Jail
DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart has announced that international arms dealer Viktor Bout has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for conspiring to sell weapons to a foreign terrorist group worth millions of dollars that included AK-47s, and hundreds of surface-to-air missiles. Bout has been trafficking weapons since the 1990s and as a result, the Department of Treasury has placed his name on the Specialty Designated Nationals list. This action prohibited Bout from having any transactions with U.S. Nationals and also freezes any of his assets in U.S. jurisdiction.
The indictment and evidence presented at the trial revealed that Bout agreed to sell weapons to confidential DEA workers who said that they we acquiring them specifically to be used to attack U.S. helicopters in Columbia. The weapons agreed upon included 10 million rounds of ammunition, five tons of C-4 explosives, unmanned areal vehicles as well as ulta-light airplanes equipped with grenade launchers.
At a secretly recorded meeting Bout claimed that he could airdrop the arms to FARC in Columbia and offered to sell them cargo planes that would make the delivery. He advised the undercover operators that the FARC’s fight against the U.S. was also his fight and went as far as to offer people to train the FARCs to use the arms.
Originally arrested in Thailand, Bout was charged with conspiring to kill U.S. nationals; conspiring to kill U.S. officer and employees; conspiring to acquire and export anti-aircraft missiles; and conspiring to provide material support of a designated foreign terrorist organization. He was convicted on all counts and was charged with and admitted he understood that the weapons he sold to Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) would be used to kill Americans.
In addition to his prison term Bout was sentenced to 25 years of supervised release and a $15 million fine.