Pentagon Worried Viktor Bout to Return to Arms Trafficking

Some Pentagon officials expressed concern over the release of convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. The Thursday prisoner swap for Brittney Griner left officials worried Bout may return to illegally trafficking weapons, fueling existing conflicts abroad.

Bout, nicknamed the “Merchant of Death,” was serving a 25-year prison sentence in the U.S. for conspiring to kill Americans, delivery of anti-aircraft missiles and aiding a terrorist organization.

“I think there is a concern that [he] would return to doing the same kind of work that he’s done in the past,” said one senior Defense Department official, who spoke anonymously.

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