Viktor Bout on the Move: Bout’s Latest Prison Stop in Oklahoma City
According to The Voice of Russia’s article by reporter, Vasily Sushko, Viktor Bout’s exact whereabouts are completely unknown to his attorneys and legal staff. In this at The Voice of Russia report titled, Bout allegedly transferred to medium-security prison in Illinois, Bout is supposed to be at Marion, Illinois or at least in transfer. According to Andrew Garkusha — a member of Bout’s legal team — Bout is no longer in the state of New York. Garkusha spoke to Bout on Tuesday night approximately at 8pm and went to MDC prison in Brooklyn [the exact location where I visited Viktor twice] on Wednesday at approximately 11am and was told, “He [Viktor Bout] is no longer in this facility or state.” According to Garkusha, Bout said he was expecting his visit the next day during their phone conversation. Garkusha also said that he believes Bout was not on the weekly flight — dubbed Con Air — that leaves every Tuesday to transfer Federal inmates across the country.
What is unusual to me is that according to BOP’s website — under the prison locater section — Bout is in the OKLAHOMA CITY FTC prison. Whether this is his final destination or simply a stop-over in the transfer process is still uncertain. As far as I know, Bout’s legal team still does not know about stopover in Oklahoma City.
I just received an email from attorney Barry Bachrach, concerning Bout’s stopover in Oklahoma City. Mr. Bachrach has explained that this stop over in Oklahoma City is quite typical. According to attorney Bachrach:
“Oklahoma is where a transfer station is which is a stop prisoners typically make when they are being transferred from one prison to another. In my experience, It is virtually impossible to get contact him while in Oklahoma. His stay there is unpredictable, whereby he can stay there a short time or anytime up to a month or more. Unfortunately it is not unusual for a prisoner to be transferred without family or attorney knowing. It has happened to several people I have represented.”
Nonetheless, Bout’s ordeals with the BOP have not been easy. Bout was initially held in Manhattan in the Special Housing Unit also known as the ‘SHU’ where he was in solitary confinement for just under two years. Finally at the bequest of Bout’s attorney, Albert Dayan, the presiding judge of the Bout trial, Shira A. Scheindlin ordered Bout moved into general population. I write about it in detail in my piece in February titled, Judge Orders Viktor Bout out of Solitary Confinement. Before it was recently announced on June 1st by The Voice of Russia that Viktor Bout to be transfered to a medium-security prison in Marion, Illinois, the BOP tried to send Bout to a super-maximum security facility. The Bureau of Prison’s originally announced on May 11th that Bout would be sent to the ‘Alcatraz of the Rockies’ in Florence, Colorado. According to a Ria Novosti article titled, Russian Arms Dealer Bout Faces ‘Supermax’ Prison:
The Colorado prison, known as a Supermax, is the most secure in the U.S., and holds Ramsi Yousef, convicted for bombing the World Trade Center in 1993. Most prisoners in the facility are in solitary confinement.
Then on May 24th as stated in my article, The DEA’s Conduit to Viktor Bout Gets a Slap on the Wrist: Andrew Smulian Sentenced to Five Years, I was the first entity to report that Viktor Bout would NOT be transferred to Supermax in Colorado:
I was the first to publicly break the story of Viktor Bout’s imminent transfer to Florence Colorado’s Super Maximum security prison (dubbed Supermax) to be canceled. A reliable source whom wished to remain anonymous informed me of the news last week. Approximately an hour after I tweeted the breaking news [Timeline], The Voice of Russia was the first to publish an article after my announcement.
There have been an array of rumors floating around concerning Bout and some sort of spy / prisoner swap. What has become apparent since Eric Holder’s sudden and by many unexpected announcement — Holder also recently visited Russia amid high level discussions [U.S. Attorney General Holder Meets with Russian Legal Officials] – to halt Bout’s transfer to Supermax is that this case is very complex. In the realm of politics, it is most certainly chess and not checkers. Attorney General Eric Holder has also publicly stated that he has agreed to the possibility of letting Viktor Bout being transfered to Russia to serve out his term there as opposed to in America. [U.S. Attorney General to Study Bout Transfer Possibilities]
The latest rumors of a prisoner swap for Bout have been dismissed as early as today by Russia. [No Spy Swap for Bout - Security Service] Also rampant in the rumor mill are ties between Bout and newly elected Russian President Vladimir Putin via the intermediary of Igor Sechin. Also resurfacing are Bout’s ties to the GRU formerly the KGB. Viktor Bout has dismissed these rumors on several occassions including to me personally. Ironically, support for Viktor Bout has been substantially bolstered in recent months since President Putin’s new tenor.
The extraordinary case of Viktor Bout continues to surprise us with its twists and turns. Perhaps the future is already mapped out by those in power but for the rest of us — stay tuned!
Additional articles, radio and television interviews about Viktor Bout:
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