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Swede admits to FARC guns-for-drugs deal

Swede admits to FARC guns-for-drugs deal

Published: 20 Jan 2012 11:31 GMT+01:00
Updated: 20 Jan 2012 11:31 GMT+01:00

A former Swedish night club owner held in the United States on suspicion of supplying weapons to Colombian guerrillas in exchange for cocaine, pleaded guilty on Tuesday in a US court.

Paul Mardirossian, a Swedish citizen and former owner of a string of clubs in the posh Stockholm neighbourhood of Stureplan, has been held in the United States since May after being arrested in Panama trying to sell weapons to an undercover agent.

On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to supply weapons to Colombian guerrillas in exchange for cocaine.

”Paul Mardirossian was ready, willing, and able to supply military grade weapons to people he thought were terrorists for the express purpose of harming Americans. In return, he would receive prodigious quantities of cocaine that would ultimately poison thousands of people and net him huge profits,” said US Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement on Tuesday.

According to his US prosecutors, Mardirossian met with undercover operatives of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in February 2010, under the assumption that they were representatives of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Mardirossian then allegedly agreed to arrange the sale of military-grade weaponry to the FARC, including AK-47 assault rifles, grenade launchers, and ammunition, in exchange for "large quantities of cocaine".

At a meeting in January, Mardirossian and a co-conspirator allegedly were told by a second DEA undercover operative that the weapons "were needed to attack a US military base that was currently under construction”.

He was arrested April 27th in Panama City shortly after coordinating the delivery of a weapons sample -- a grenade launcher and AK-47 assault rifle -- to an undercover officer in Copenhagen, Denmark, according to the prosecutors.

Mardirossian was remanded into custody in May in a federal court in New York and has been held without bail.

At first he pleaded not guilty to the charges, but has since changed his plea.

”Today’s guilty plea is the latest result of our ongoing efforts to dismantle the inter-connected networks of drug dealers and arms suppliers,” Bharara said on Tuesday.

The six charges include conspiring to engage in narco-terrorism (which could give him life in prison, with a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison), conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization (15 years), attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization (15 years), attempting to import five kilogrammes or more of cocaine into the United States (life, with a minimum of 10 years in prison), and money laundering (20 years).

Mardirossian is scheduled to be sentenced on May 12th.

The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:33 January 20, 2012 by this_aint_sparta
O my god stop immigration and kill all foreigners and deport all muslims. They are the very root of all weapons and drug related crimes around the globe.
12:41 January 20, 2012 by DAVID T
haha - proper prison sentence :-) Good luck in prison -you'll be somebody's bitch
12:43 January 20, 2012 by J Jack
At least the proposed sentences are more realistic, Here in Sweden he would have been proposed some kind of counseling and rehab for being greedy.
13:14 January 20, 2012 by zooeden
Lear from the sentences Sweden, learn!!!!

OR extradite him home so he gets his ears pulled!!!
14:03 January 20, 2012 by Rishonim
@this_aint_sparta..,. And you are a perfect imbecile...
14:48 January 20, 2012 by rise
There are Swedes and then there are the so called "new-Swedes"... As if there is any Swedish at all about the latter! :P
16:16 January 20, 2012 by millionmileman
I'm surprised that he hasn't yet blamed the M0$$aD!
08:26 January 21, 2012 by ctinej
Gaining citizenship in another country does not change morals, ethics or religion. I wish that the Local would report the pertinent things first, NOT that he got Swedish citizenship, BUT that he is an Iranian or muslimm of some kind.

When will the Swedes finally realize that they are loosing their whole lifestyle, and country to the Immigrants
09:44 January 21, 2012 by Just_Kidding
@ctinej... I hate to disappoint you, but "Mardirossian" is an "Armenian" name (you can search wiki to find many famous Armenians with this surname)... and Armenians happen to be Christian (unless they decide to become atheists off course!)

Iranian Atheist
10:19 January 21, 2012 by Lavaux
One thing the brown-shirted Obama regime has done well is find, capture or kill terrorists and their suppliers. Kudos to them.
11:42 January 21, 2012 by shahislam
Wow! World is stunned at America's humanitarian attempts! Such a wonderful leadership of USA deserves to earn global respect.

The Credit for oil price drop mainly goes to one person on earth. That honorable human being's name is Dear Barack Obama. Everybody should love him. The World has just avoided a war because of his wise decisions.

Shahislam
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