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Joseph Manual Hunter was extradited back to the USA from Phuket last week to face numerous charges, such as attempting to import cocaine and conspiracy and plotting to kill a law enforcement agent. The charges were announced on Friday by federal prosecutors in Manhattan.
When asked by the U. S Magistrate Judge Frank Hassa bout his plea, that included charges that he agreed to help supposed Columbian drug traffickers kill a U.S drug enforcement agent for US$800,000 Hunter responded “Not guilty, sir”.
He entered the plea on Saturday during a brief appearance at a federal courthouse in New York.
Hunter, along with another former American soldier and a German ex-soldier were among seven people arrested and charged in the alleged plot.
Hunter, 48, is also known as “Rambo” and served in the U.S Army from 1983 until 2004. Since then it has been alleged that he has been a contract killer and has arranged the murders of a number of people.
Prosecutors say Hunter recently recruited four other former soldiers to import large volumes of cocaine into the U.S and engage in murder-for-hire conspiracies, one of which was to assassinate both a DEA special agent and a person providing information about drug trafficking to the DEA.
US District Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement “The charges tell a tale of an international band of mercenary marksmen who enlisted their elite military training to serve as hired guns for evil ends and that the bone chilling allegations in today’s indictment read like they were ripped from the pages of a Tom Clancy novel.”
According to an indictment in an email exchange Hunter said “My guys will handle it… Are you talking about both the captain or the agent or just the captain?”
Hunter was taken into custody in Thailand on Thursday and was turned over to the DEA at Bangkok’s Don Meaung Airport and put on a plane back to the States.
Timmy Vamvakias, 42, was also arrested who is thought to be from South Carolina along with German nationals Dennis Gogel and Michael Filter. Slawomir Soborski is a citizen of Poland and is being held overseas.