JammedUp News


Former U.S. Army sniper turned hired assassin sentenced to 20 years for attempted hit on DEA agent

June 1, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Former U.S. Army sniper turned hired assassin sentenced to 20 years for attempted hit on DEA agent

Are you in a legal jam? Find a Lawyer, Bail Bondsman or Private Investigator on JammedUp.

A former U.S. Army sniper turned hired hitman received 20 years in prison for targeting a DEA agent and his cooperating witness in an assassination attempt.

US Army Sgt. Joseph Hunter nicked named ‘Rambo,’ a former sniper instructor, cried as a Manhattan federal judge read his punishment during a court hearing on Tuesday.

Judge Laura Taylor Swain said Hunter made the “dishonorable choice” for money, refusing to believe his claims that he became a hired hitman because he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, the New York Post reported.

“These were crimes that were committed as a result of greed,” Swain said as she slapped him with a 20-year federal prison sentence.

Hunter served in the U.S. Army from 1983 to 2004, then worked as a private contractor in Iraq, cited PTSD and depression from his decades of service as the reason for his actions, as he pleaded for a lighter sentence in court.

“I have seen … comrades die, I have received mortar fire several times per week for an extended period, I have received sniper fire,” Hunter said in a hand-written letter to the judge.

The 51-year-old Hunter further claimed that he lied about the state of his mental health to protect his job.

“Any soldier that shows mental or physical weakness is put on a track that would have lead to his dismissal or hurt his military service,” he said in court.

Authorities arrested Hunter in a 2013 undercover sting operation, charging the former soldier with leading an international team of ex-veteran military snipers and counterintelligence officers contracted to kill a DEA agent along with his cooperating witness.

Hunter had assumed the people who were hiring him were members of a Colombian drug cartel, but instead, they turned out to be informants working for the DEA.

“It’s just like a military mission,” the stocky ex-Army officer told his dangerous team of former snipers from the US, Germany, and Poland when they arrived in Thailand to carry out the contract killings.

During sentencing, Hunter, who has remained in a federal lockup since his arrest, cried and evoked God as he read a written statement, saying his biggest mistake was forgetting “to place God at the forefront of my actions.”

Get the latest news from the world of crime