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Press Release

Former U.S. Soldier Turned Foreign Fighter Extradited from Ukraine to the United States for 2018 Double Homicide, Armed Robbery, Immigration Document Offenses, Aggravated Identity Theft, and Other Charges

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A U.S. citizen will make his initial appearance in Fort Myers, Florida, today at 2 p.m. EDT following his extradition from Ukraine to the United States to face numerous charges in three federal districts relating to double homicide, armed robbery, false statements in a passport application, aggravated identity theft, and misuse of a passport in violation of conditions and restrictions, among other charges.

Craig Austin Lang, 34, of Surprise, Arizona, faces criminal charges in the Middle District of Florida, the Eastern District of North Carolina, and the District of Arizona.

“As alleged in the indictments, Craig Austin Lang went on an international crime spree that included a double murder in Florida, attempts to travel internationally to engage in other acts of violence outside the United States, and a plot to evade law enforcement detection by trading guns, a grenade, and cash to use another person’s identifying information to apply for a U.S. passport under an assumed name,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Lang’s alleged conduct is shocking in its scope and its callous disregard for human life. His wrongdoing, however, was no match for the efforts of dedicated law enforcement personnel and prosecutors in the United States and abroad to investigate, locate, arrest, and extradite Lang so he would face justice before courts in the United States.”

“The alleged conduct of Craig Austin Lang, which includes homicide and armed robbery, will not be tolerated by the FBI,” said Executive Assistant Director Timothy Langan of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch. “Individuals that engage in such activity must face the consequences of their actions. We would like to thank our partner law enforcement agencies for their efforts in ensuring that criminals face justice. If you cause harm to the American public, we will relentlessly pursue you even if you are located beyond our borders.”

Middle District of Florida

According to the superseding indictment returned in the Middle District of Florida in December 2019 and other court documents, Lang and a co-defendant, Alex Jared Zwiefelhofer, 27, of Bloomer, Wisconsin, allegedly murdered a couple from Brooksville, Florida, in 2018.

In 2017, Lang and Zwiefelhofer, both former soldiers in the U.S. Army, met in Ukraine, where Zwiefelhofer claimed they were both members of a volunteer battalion fighting Russian separatists. The pair allegedly also traveled to Kenya, where Zwiefelhofer claimed they intended to fight against terrorists, before attempting to enter South Sudan. They were allegedly detained by authorities in South Sudan and deported back to the United States, where they met up in Florida in April 2018.

The superseding indictment alleges that the Brooksville couple planned to purchase firearms that Lang and Zwiefelhofer had listed for sale on a website called “ARMSLIST.” Lang and Zwiefelhofer allegedly killed the couple in the course of an armed robbery to steal the $3,000 that the couple intended to use to buy the firearms. Lang and Zwiefelhofer allegedly robbed the victims to pay for travel to Venezuela, where the defendants planned to fight the Venezuelan regime. 

Lang and Zwiefelhofer are charged with violating the Neutrality Act, conspiracy to kill, kidnap, or maim persons in a foreign country, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, and conspiracy to discharge a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, as well as interference with commerce by robbery and use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death. If convicted on all counts, Lang and Zwiefelhofer face a maximum penalty of life in prison. 

On March 8, a federal jury convicted Zwiefelhofer on all of the above charges. Zwiefelhofer is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 6.

The FBI and Lee County Sheriff’s Office are investigating this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jesus M. Casas and Michael V. Leeman for the Middle District of Florida are prosecuting this case.

Eastern District of North Carolina

According to the indictment returned in the Eastern District of North Carolina in August 2019, Lang and his co-conspirators allegedly took various actions in September 2018 to evade law enforcement detection and minimize scrutiny when travelling internationally. They allegedly devised a plan to provide two co-conspirators’ identity documents to Lang and a fourth co-conspirator, Matthew Scott McCloud, for the purpose of applying for U.S. passports under assumed names. While in North Carolina, Lang allegedly submitted a U.S. passport application in the assumed name of one of his co-conspirators, Dameon Shae Adcock. Approximately two days later, Lang allegedly gave Adcock a suitcase containing multiple firearms, a military smoke grenade, and approximately $1,500 in cash as payment for use of Adcock’s personal information. Several days later, Lang and McCloud, who had applied for a U.S. passport using the identity of co-conspirator Jordan Dean Miller, allegedly acquired airline tickets to travel from Georgia to New York and then on to Ukraine.

“The Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) is committed to working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and other law enforcement agencies around the world to investigate and prosecute all allegations of criminal activity related to identity theft,” said Assistant Director Andrew Wroblewski of DSS Domestic Operations. “The strong relationship we enjoy with our domestic and overseas law enforcement partners is vital towards ensuring the integrity of U.S. travel documents and protecting greater U.S. interests.”

Lang was charged with conspiracy to commit passport fraud and aggravated identify theft, passport fraud, aggravated identity theft, fraud, and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents, and aiding and abetting these offenses, as well as false representation of a social security account number. Adcock, Miller, and McCloud were also charged in connection with the criminal scheme. If convicted, Lang faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison on the fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents charge.

Adcock pleaded guilty in November 2019 and was sentenced in September 2020 to two years and eight months in prison. McCloud pleaded guilty in April 2020 and was sentenced in July 2020 to time served. Miller pleaded guilty and was sentenced in May 2020 to one year of probation.

The DSS is investigating this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gabe Diaz for the Eastern District of North Carolina is prosecuting this case.

District of Arizona

The indictment returned in the District of Arizona in June 2019 charges Lang with misuse of a passport for allegedly presenting a U.S. passport to Mexican authorities to obtain a Mexican visa, which was in violation of the conditions and restrictions contained on the passport. If convicted, Lang faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, or more under certain aggravating circumstances.

The FBI is investigating this case.

Trial Attorney and Co-Director of Joint Task Force Alpha James Hepburn and Trial Attorney and Director of the War Crimes Accountability Team Christian Levesque of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bridget Minder for the District of Arizona are prosecuting the case.


Lang’s extradition from Ukraine occurred after the European Court of Human Rights recently rejected his claim challenging extradition under the European Convention on Human Rights.  

U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg for the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Michael F. Easley for the Eastern District of North Carolina, and U.S. Attorney Gary M. Restaino for the District of Arizona joined in the announcement.

The FBI escorted Lang from Ukraine to the United States. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs and the FBI Tampa Field Office Fort Myers Resident Agency provided significant assistance in securing the arrest, extradition, and removal of Lang to the United States. The United States also thanks Ukrainian authorities for their valuable assistance.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated June 3, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-696