The feds want Viktor Bout — the man they describe as one of the “the world’s most successful and sophisticated arms traffickers” — to spend the rest of his life in jail.
Bout, whose life inspired the movie Lord of War and earned him the nicknamed the “Merchant of Death,” was found guilty of conspiring to kill U.S. citizens and officials, delivering anti-aircraft missiles and providing aid to a terrorist organization. He was arrested in Thailand in 2008 following a sting operation set up by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents. He’s set to be sentenced by a federal judge in New York at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Federal authorities called Bout “a businessman of the most dangerous order” and said in a court filing that Bout “remained ready, willing and able to provide a breathtaking arsenal of weapons — including hundreds of surface-to-air missiles, machine-guns, and sniper rifles — 10 million rounds of ammunition, and five tons of plastic explosives to men he believed represented FARC, a U.S.-and E.U.-designated foreign terrorist organization.”