2012 Justice and Law Enforcement Medal Recipient: Louis Milione

Tags: 2012 Sammies
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United States and international authorities for years sought to capture notorious arms trafficker Viktor Bout, a former Soviet military officer known as the “Merchant of Death” for selling weapons to the Taliban, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Hezbollah, and to vicious despots, warlords and human rights abusers throughout Africa. In 2007, U.S. national security officials turned to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which had been gathering information on Bout and launched an investigation. In a matter of months, the DEA defied the odds with a bold undercover operation that led to Bout’s 2008 incarceration in Thailand, his 2011 conviction in New York and a 2012 prison sentence of 25 years for conspiracy to sell anti-aircraft weapons and other arms to purported Colombian rebels with the aim of killing Americans. At the center of this high-stakes undercover sting was Louis Milione, a seasoned DEA agent who with colleagues gathered intelligence on Bout, conceived the plan, managed informants, oversaw the use of electronic surveillance and handled unexpected events as they played out on three continents. He coordinated activities with law enforcement and government officials in the U.S. and abroad, and provided assistance during the lengthy extradition proceedings in Thailand and the criminal prosecution.