The US Army veterans who fought as volunteers in the 2014 Ukranian conflict are being accused by the FBI of shooting a Florida couple in 2018.
Alex Zwiefelhofer, who served with Craig Lang in the Ukraine conflict that dazzled the news for several years, reportedly told FBI agents that they wanted to fight “communists” under the Venezuelan government.
While Zwiefelhofer is still awaiting trial for the 2018 shooting of Serafin and Deana Lorenzo, Lang is currently under house arrest with his Ukranian wife in her home country.
The FBI have accused the two of carrying out the “murder-robbery” of the Lorenzos to finance their combat excursion to Venezuela.
While the US authorities portray the men as killers, the Ukranians consider them heroes for their combat service in a volunteer militant group that pushed against Russians and Russian-backed separatists in the Crimean campaign.
Brian Boyenger, who served in the 101st Airborne Division before fighting in the Ukraine as a volunteer, thought highly of Lang.
“He conducted himself as a disciplined and professional soldier,” Boyenger told the Associated Press. “The things he is accused of were a surprise to me.”
In 2018, the Lorenzos were found shot multiple times each, and were missing $3,000 that had been withdrawn to buy guns.
While Zwiefelhofer pleaded not guilty in December, he may be handed the death penalty if found guilty of charges related to the robbery and killings and the alleged plot to fight the Venezuelan government.
According to Local 10, Zwiefelhofer admitted to traveling to Florida with Lang in April 2018 but denied going to the area where the Lozenzos were killed.
Lang remains in the Ukraine, and has asked for his house arrest to be reduced to “nighttime house arrest.”
The Ukranian government is debating whether or not to send Lang back to the US, but Lang’s attorney claimed he would relentlessly appeal if extradition is approved, and even ask the European Court of Human Rights to review the case.
While the death penalty is legal in Florida, the Ukraine abolished it 20 years ago. This difference could keep Lang from being extradited.
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