Two Former U.S. Soldiers & One Former German Soldier Arrested for Conspiracy to Murder a DEA Agent
NEW YORK, NY – U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart announce the arrests of three defendants – Joseph Manuel Hunter and Timothy Vamvakias, both citizens of the United States, and Dennis Gogel, a citizen of Germany. Hunter, Vamvakias, and Gogel arrived in the Southern District of New York and were presented in U.S. Magistrate Court. As part of the same case, Slawomir Soborski and Michael Filter, citizens of Poland and Germany, respectively, were arrested in Estonia at the request of the United States on September 25, 2013. Hunter, Vamvakias, and Gogel are charged in five separate counts with conspiracy to import cocaine into the United States; conspiracy to murder a law enforcement agent and a person assisting a law enforcement agent; conspiracy to kill a person to prevent communications to law enforcement agents; conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence; and conspiracy to distribute cocaine on board an aircraft. Soborski and Filter are charged with conspiracy to import cocaine into the United States and conspiracy to distribute cocaine on board an aircraft. On September 25, 2013, the DEA’s Special Operations Division, Bilateral Investigative Unit Narco-Terrorism Group, concluded a long-standing undercover operation conducted in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and elsewhere. Hunter was arrested in Thailand; Vamvakias and Gogel were arrested in Liberia and all three subsequently were expelled to the United States. Soborski and Filter were arrested in Estonia, where they remain, pending extradition to the United States.