NEW YORK – Ioannis Viglakis, a Greek citizen, was sentenced in New York federal court on September 3 to 10 years in prison for trying to sell arms to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
Viglakis, alias “Pablo,” was arrested in Panama in August 2012 at the request of the United States for allegedly providing support to a “foreign terrorist organization” which was not identified at the time.
The district attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, upon announcing the sentence on Wednesday, noted that Viglakis – after being extradited to the United States – had pled guilty in December 2013 before U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest to attempting to provide material support to the FARC.
Judge Forrest imposed the sentence on Viglakis, 54, on Wednesday.
The defendant had held a series of meetings with a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration informant who said he represented the FARC and with undercover DEA agents, according to court documents.
At those meetings, the documents say, Viglakis offered to provide the Colombian guerrilla organization with assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and ground-to-air missiles, as well as ammunition, in exchange for cocaine and cash.
He delivered three grenade launchers and six RPGs as a sample of what he could provide, and in Panama he gave the DEA agent 8,500 euros (about $11,180 at the current exchange rate) as partial payment for the FARC to ship cocaine to Spain on his behalf.
The U.S. court sentenced Viglakis to 120 months in prison given that he had discussed with the DEA informant using the weapons to shoot down U.S. aircraft in Colombia.