2 Ex-US Soldiers Accused in Plot to Kill DEA Agent

Former German soldier also charged in US sting operation

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Sep 27, 2013 6:01 PM CDT

(Newser) – Two former American soldiers and a German ex-soldier faced charges today that they plotted to kill a US drug enforcement agent and an informant for $800,000. It was all a sting set up by federal agents, however. The indictment described 48-year-old Joseph Hunter, also known as "Rambo," as a contract killer and leader of the group of ex-snipers. Hunter, now a resident of Thailand, was to appear in court in New York City tomorrow. According to the court papers, undercover operators promised Hunter in March that his security team would be protecting thousands of kilos of marijuana and would be seeing "tons of cocaine and millions of dollars."

Audio and video recordings of the meeting show Hunter discussing "bonus jobs" of contract killings, saying the men he had recruited want to do as much "bonus" work as possible, the indictment said. When assassinations of a federal agent and an informant were proposed, Hunter "didn't flinch at the chance," says US Attorney Preet Bharara. Hunter boasted that his men could handle both jobs. "That's fun, actually for me that's fun," the ex-German soldier, Dennis Gogel, 27, was quoted as saying in court papers. Also charged in the assassination plot with multiple counts of conspiracy was American Timothy Vamvakias, 42.

Joseph Hunter, center, is led by Thai police commandos after his arrest in Bangkok, Thailand.
Joseph Hunter, center, is led by Thai police commandos after his arrest in Bangkok, Thailand.   (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
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