Romanian biker gang leader accused of drug trafficking extradited to US
Marius Lazăr, the leader of the Romanian branch of the motorcycle gang Hell's Angels, will be extradited to the United States, where he is accused of being part of an international drug trafficking group and of negotiating the killing of two rivals.
Lazăr was wanted internationally and was apprehended in Bucharest in December. The extradition request was approved this month, according to the Romanian police cited by HotNews.
Back in 2020, police officers from the Anti-Drug Service of the Directorate for Combating Organized Crime, together with prosecutors from DIICOT, carried out investigations targeting members of Hell's Angels Romania. The biker gang was suspected of involvement in international drug trafficking. The investigation into the group was carried out in collaboration with the American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the US Marshals.
The extradition request was formulated by the Department of Justice of the United States, for the crimes of complicity in drug trafficking, money laundering, conspiracy to money laundering, processing or distribution for the purpose of illegal importation and import of controlled substances, violation of the arms and ammunition regime, preparatory acts for the crime of murder, and organizing a criminal group. The charges fall under the scope of the R.I.C.O. (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act), all provided for by the Criminal Code of the United States of America and are consistent in Romanian legislation with the crimes of international drug trafficking of high-risk, money laundering and complicity in attempted murder.
Marius Lazăr, 49, was arrested at the end of December last year along with three accomplices as he was attempting to pay for a cocaine shipment. He was incarcerated in a detention and pre-trial arrest center of the Capital Police. The Bucharest Court of Appeal issued a warrant for pre-trial arrest on December 15, 2022, extraditing Lazăr to the United States. He stands accused of being part of an international drug trafficking group and of negotiating the killing of two rivals.
At the time of capture, the suspect had the money and property documents on him.
An international investigation involving Romanian officers from the DIICOT led to the capture of traffickers coordinated from a prison in New Zealand, said the authorities.
Marius Lazăr allegedly negotiated with two New Zealanders, as well as other members of Hell's Angels, a transaction of 400 kg of cocaine intended for the US market, but also 10 kg of cocaine that he wanted to sell in Romania, according to newsweek.ro. He allegedly intended to start selling armored cars and assault weapons, ranging from the AK-47 to M26 grenades, Zastava pistols, Zastava rifles, and bulletproof vests produced at the Zastava Arms factory in Serbia.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea)