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US Sentences Romanian-born Arms Trafficker to 10 Years

  • VOA News

Romanian-born Virgil Georgescu was sentenced to 10 years in a U.S. prison, Nov. 28, 2016, for conspiring to sell military-grade weapons. The U.S.citizen sought to sell weapons to DEA agents posing as members of the Colombian rebel group FARC.

A Romanian-born man has been sentenced in the United States to 10 years in prison for conspiring to sell military-grade weapons in Europe.

Virgil Georgescu, a U.S. citizen born in Romania, was sentenced Friday in Manhattan after being convicted by a jury earlier this year.

Georgescu was arrested in Montenegro in 2014 in a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sting operation. Prosecutors accused him of collaborating with a former Romanian government official and a former Italian Parliament member to sell an arsenal of weapons.

Undercover DEA informants posed as associates of the Colombian rebel group FARC, saying they were seeking weapons to shoot down U.S. helicopters.

Co-conspirators face four years in prison

Defense lawyers said Georgescu called the Central Intelligence Agency in 2012 to inform it of the weapons plot. Prosecutors argued that Georgescu later had a change of heart.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Surratt told the judge that Georgescu's motive was to profit “on the backs of dead Americans.” He said Georgescu was motivated by greed.

Georgescu's co-conspirators pleaded guilty to terrorism-related charges and agreed to testify against Georgescu. They each received four years in prison.

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