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A Connecticut man and former U.S. Army Ranger might be extradited to the Netherlands after Dutch officials alleged he was a member of a group of American service members, active and retired, who hired themselves out as hit men and killed a German businessman.
Jacob Mazeika, 38, was in New Haven, Connecticut, over Spring 2020 when federal marshals detained him by the Dutch government's request, officials said.
Authorities in the Netherlands claimed Mazeika and fellow soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan were employed by a Swiss businessman, who was trying to collect a debt worth millions, the Hastings Tribune reported.
The businessman, Lukas Fecker, is believed to be the man behind the murder of German national Thomas Schwarz, Dutch authorities said.
Schwarz was found dead in November 2019, stabbed and beaten, and had been hit so hard his spine cracked, officials in the Netherlands said.
"Dutch authorities believe it likely that (Schwarz) and Fecker had a business relationship, and that the victim possibly owed Fecker money," the U.S. Attorney's Office wrote in a legal filing connected to a Dutch request for Mazeika's extradition. "Fecker is currently detained and awaiting trial in the Netherlands."
Schwarz had been entangled in a business dispute, and records stated that Fecker told him to expect someone who would "not be so kind" to collect a debt.
Mazeika is believed to have arrived to see Schwarz, Dutch authorities said.
Since being arrested in April, Mazeika has acknowledged Dutch officials have ample evidence for arrest but reserved his ability to petition the State Department and argued against extradition.
"While Mazeika consents to extradition, he, a disabled veteran who has honorably served his country on three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and has dedicated his life since to charitable causes, professes his innocence of these charges and looks forward to his exoneration through the Dutch legal system," said Mazeika's attorney Morgan Rueckert.
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Original Author: Luke Gentile