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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 5, 2019

Additional Charges Filed Against Two Men Related To 2018 Homicide And Armed Robbery Of Florida Couple

Fort Myers, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the return of a superseding indictment charging Alex Jared Zwiefelhofer (22, Wisconsin) and Craig Austin Lang (29, Arizona and North Carolina) with six federal offenses. In addition to the offenses of conspiracy to commit robbery affecting commerce and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, robbery interfering in commerce, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, which resulted in death, Zwiefelhofer and Lang are also charged with conspiring to kill, kidnap, or maim persons in a foreign country and a violation of the Neutrality Act. If convicted on all counts, Zwiefelhofer and Lang face a maximum sentence of life in federal prison or death. Zwiefelhofer’s arraignment on the superseding indictment is set for December 10, 2019, in Fort Myers. Lang is currently in custody, in Ukraine, pursuant to a provisional arrest request from the United States.

According to court documents, on April 10, 2018, two individuals, S.L., Jr. and D.L., were found dead in Estero, Florida from multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body. Further investigation revealed that the couple had traveled to Estero from Brooksville, Florida to complete the purchase of several firearms from an individual that had listed them for sale on a website known as Armslist. As a result of the investigation, Zwiefelhofer and Lang were identified as the individuals that were believed to have murdered the couple during the course of an armed robbery of the $3,000 that the couple had intended to use to purchase the firearms. 

The superseding indictment  further alleges that Zwiefelhofer and Lang formed and pursued a plan to fight the Venezuelan government and committed the robbery of S.L., Jr. and D.L. to obtain money to fund their travel to Venezuela for that purpose. 

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jesus M. Casas and Josephine W. Thomas.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
National Security
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated December 5, 2019