Former arms dealer faces possible life sentence

Published April 5, 2012 6:45AM (EDT)

NEW YORK (AP) — An ex-Soviet officer notorious for delivering weapons to dictators in war-torn countries is set for sentencing Thursday after he was convicted on terrorism charges.

Viktor Bout (boot) faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison and a maximum of life. He has been jailed since his arrest four years ago in Thailand after he met U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration operatives posing as agents of a Colombian terrorism group. He was extradited to the United States for trial in 2010.

Prosecutors say the 45-year-old Russian businessman was ready to sell them up to $20 million in weapons including surface-to-air missiles to shoot down U.S. helicopters. His defense lawyer says the government case was a political prosecution and a disgrace. He has asked the judge to dismiss the conviction.

By Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------