A New York court has recently found three American men, including one former soldier, guilty of organizing the murder-for-hire killing of a Filipino woman in 2012.
Joseph Hunter, a former sniper instructor for the United States Army, will be facing a possible life sentence along with two other men for conspiring to kidnap and murder a female victim from the Philippines.
Hunter, 52, was convicted alongside 43-year-old Adam Samia and 50-year-old Carl David Stillwell on Wednesday at the conclusion of their 12-day trial. They will be sentenced in September with a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Known by his alias “Rambo,” Hunter has been described as a “ringleader of trained assassins” who has reportedly worked as a mercenary for years, according to CNN.After serving for over 20 years, the former sergeant left the U.S. army in 2004 before becoming a contract killer for drug cartels.
“Hunter and his cohorts turned from serving their countries as soldiers to becoming mercenaries for hire, plotting to kill a DEA agent and informant and trafficking in massive quantities of cocaine,” US Attorney Preet Bharara was quoted as saying after the verdict was announced.
In his press statement, he described Hunter as “an admitted contract killer, convicted drug trafficker, and ringleader of trained assassins.”
Hunter is already serving a 20-year sentence for the attempted murder of a U.S. drug enforcement agent and an informant in 2015.
Meanwhile, Samia is a self-described “personal protection/security industry” professional trained in tactics and weapons, while Stillwell worked at a North Carolina firm that provides firearms training, according to Reuters citing court documents.
“(These men) conspired to end the lives of people overseas whom they had never met. Today a unanimous jury convicted them for their craven indifference to human life,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in a statement after the trial.
He described the case as “horrifying,” with the details commonly found “in action movies.”
Sometime in 2011 and 2012, the three men, who reportedly all had extensive firearms training, planned together to commit a series of murders worldwide in exchange for money, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.
It was found that it was Hunter who provided the information on their victims and the weapons used for the killings while the other two carried out the hit jobs.
Samia and Stillwell traveled to the Philippines in early 2012 to target a Filipino woman who they kept under surveillance for months. The two men shot her in the face multiple times and then dumped her dead body in a pile of garbage. Samia and Stillwell were paid by Hunter $35,000 for the killing.
Local authorities worked with the Royal Thai Police and U.S. law enforcement agencies in the investigation of the three men.
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