Ex-US Soldier Extradited From Ukraine To Face Florida Murder Charges

(StraightNews.org) – A former US soldier has been extradited from Ukraine to Florida to face murder and armed robbery charges. Craig Austin Lang is accused of murdering a couple in the Sunshine State in 2018 after they responded to an advertisement for gun sales that he and a co-defendant had placed online. They then allegedly committed a robbery to fund a trip to Venezuela, where they intended to “fight the Venezuelan regime.”

Lang and co-accused Alex Jared Zwiefelhofer met in Ukraine in 2017 when they were members of a volunteer group fighting Russian separatists. Authorities later detained them in South Sudan en route to Kenya, where they planned to participate in conflict against the al-Shabaab terror group. South Sudanese authorities deported them to the United States, and they later met again in Florida to commence their alleged crime spree.

The Justice Department has identified the Florida victims as former military personnel Serafin and Deana Lorenzo and confirmed that a federal court convicted Zwiefelhofer of their murder earlier this year. Lang appeared in a Florida court on June 3, where it was noted that he is also wanted in North Carolina for identity theft and passport fraud.

The complex story began in 2013 when Lang deserted his post at Fort Bliss, Texas, and drove 2,000 miles intended to kill his wife. He was briefly jailed and, afterward, left the US for Ukraine, where he joined a volunteer militia. After his deportation from Africa to the US, Lang fled to Ukraine again, arriving in 2019. He met and married a local woman and had two children.

Donald Lang, the suspect’s father, said his son suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder caused by two military tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, Nicole Argentieri of the Justice Department’s criminal division described his conduct as “shocking” and said he displayed a “callous disregard” for human life. She said he had traveled internationally to “engage in acts of violence” and evade the detection of US authorities.

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