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Tag: arms dealer

Weekend Series on Crime: Taking Down an Arms Dealer

A DEA Agent, an Undercover Sting and the Capture of ‘The Merchant of Death’

Arms Dealer Viktor Bout/ dea photo

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer

WASHINGTON –– The DEA agents sat day after day in their smoke-filled command post in a Bucharest police station, checking their phones and e-mails for confirmation that one of the world’s most notorious arms dealers was coming.

Their sting was an elaborate one, a ruse involving a multimillion-dollar weapons deal between their informants posing as rebels in Colombia and Viktor Bout, a legendary arms trafficker known as “The Merchant of Death.”

But when Bout failed to show in Romania after two agonizing weeks of waiting, the agents decided to bow out for the moment, fearful of looking over-eager. They let Bout know they still wanted to meet him someplace else, and soon — although there was a risk he would slip away.

“If we were real, we would say we have other stuff to do,” said Lou Milione, the Drug Enforcement Administration agent who oversaw the high-stakes sting. “We just wouldn’t continue to wait. We were confident he would stay interested, but there is always that risk something would happen and he wouldn’t keep his interest.”

To read the full story click here.

 

Identity of Informant in Viktor Bout Case Revealed; He Had a Long, Lucrative Career and Made $9 Million-Plus

dea photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

After earning more than $9 million over the course of 15 years as one of the government’s highest paid informants in history, Carlos Sagastume unveiled his identity at the New York  trial of international arms dealer Viktor Bout, reports the Associated Press.

Bout’s month-long trial ended in a Manhattan federal court on Wednesday when he was convicted of conspiracy charges, leaving him facing a potential life sentence.

Sagastume posed as a member of the Columbian guerrilla terrorist group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), coaxing Bout to travel from Russia to Thailand in March of 2008. The trip was supposed to be an opportunity for the twoto  arrange for weapons to be sent to Colombian rebels fighting American forces.

Most of Sagastume’s money was made working for the State Department’s Narcotics Rewards Program, where he made $7.5 million in two rewards through the DEA. He made another $1.6 million spread across 150 investigations. The work with Bout brought him $250,000.

“One would think that one’s cover would be blown much earlier,” Myrna S. Raeder, a Southwestern Law School professor, told the AP. “This sounds like fodder for a movie with that kind of background.”

To read more click here.

 

Belgian Arms Dealer Busted in Scheme to Ship Jet Parts to Iran

It’s good to see that Iran likes the U.S. for something — even if it is for military parts.

iran-map

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — A Belgian arms dealer who allegedly tried to smuggle fighter-jet engines and parts from the United States to Iran has been indicted, U.S. officials announced Wednesday, days after he was arrested in New York City after stepping off a flight from France.

Jacques Monsieur, 56, was charged Aug. 27 by a federal grand jury with six counts of conspiracy, smuggling, money laundering, and violating weapons-trafficking laws and export controls related to a U.S. trade embargo on Iran.

For Full Story

Read Indictment