Found guilty and sentenced to 25 years in prison, communist Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout may be headed back home to Russia not even a year into his prison sentence. The plan to repatriate Bout and Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko comes from Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.
Earlier this year, in April, Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout was sentenced to 25 years in prison and Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Despite his being initially sent to the super-max security prison in Florence, Colorado, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons has announced that it would transfer Bout to a medium-security prison in Marion, Illinois. Yaroshenko is currently serving his prison sentence at the low security Federal Correctional Institution in Fort Dix, New Jersey. According to the BOP, Bout is set to be released on December 15, 2029 and Yaroshenko on October 30, 2027, but they may both be released much sooner if Russia has its way.
According to RT (Russia Today), Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov revealed, “We are exploring various options for resolving the problem of returning both Bout and Yaroshenko to their homeland.” Ryabkov further elaborated, “There are various legal procedures, but no matter what these procedures are — be it the 1983 Council of Europe Convention or some other format — it is important that there should be political will.”
Bout was original expected to be handed a life sentence after a New York judge in the Federal District Court in lower Manhattan found him guilty on all four counts:
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Photo: Viktor Bout in the custody of DEA agents on November 16, 2010 after being extradited to the United States.