A former U.S. soldier nicknamed ‘Rambo’ who became a mercenary for drug dealers was sentenced to life in prison for arranging a contract killing.
Joseph Hunter, a decorated U.S. Army sniper instructor with Special Forces training, was convicted over the killing of a broker who was shot in the face in cold blood.
The 53-year-old and two other ex-American soldiers agreed to become contract killers for an international crime boss who wanted to settle a score with real estate agent, Catherine Lee, in the Philippines in February 2012.
Two other ex-soldiers, Adam Samia, 44, and Carl David Stillwell, 51, both of Roxboro, North Carolina, arranged for Lee to show them several real estate properties.
During the viewing Samia then shot Lee twice in the face with a pistol that had a silencer before he and Stillwell dumped her body on a pile of garbage, prosecutors said.
Samia and Stillwell, convicted at trial along with Hunter, were already sentenced to life in prison.
Hunter was also already serving a 20-year sentence for conspiracy to kill a DEA agent, in a case that was described as ‘ripped from the pages of a Tom Clancy novel’.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in 2013 upon his arrest: ‘The sentencing of Joseph Hunter…ends another chapter in a chilling criminal case that spanned the globe.’
Hunter was brought to the United States in 2013 to face conspiracy charges.
He pleaded guilty in 2016 after being caught in a sting operation mounted with the help of his former boss, Paul Le Roux, an international criminal kingpin who turned government snitch after being arrested in 2012.
Hunter potted to kill the DEA agent and informant and a cooperating witness in Liberia in 2013, as well as recruiting others for assassination assignments.
Hunter was to be paid $100,000 while two snipers he recruited were to be paid $700,000, prosecutors said.
Hunter was arrested occurred in Phuket, Thailand, but authorities said he and his gang ranged all over Southeast Asia trafficking drugs.
But it was the killing of Lee in the Philippines that resulted in a conviction at trial and sentencing last Thursday.
Prosecutors said after leaving the military, Hunter tortured, kidnapped and killed people for years along with other former soldiers.
U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams in Manhattan said he carried out his crimes, including arranging the February 2012 murder of a real estate agent in the Philippines, for money.
Source: Associated Press and Chris Dyer For Mailonline