Who is Craig Austin Lang? Ex-Army Vet Charged with Florida Double Murder and Fraud After International Crime Spree

Lang an Army veteran turned mercenary, has been extradited from Ukraine by the FBI

Federal prosecutors announced Monday that Craig Austin Lang, a 34-year-old former Australian Army veteran turned mercenary, has been extradited from Ukraine by the FBI to face charges of murder and fraud in a three-state crime spree.

Lang, who served as a mercenary in Venezuela, Africa, and Ukraine, appeared in federal court for allegedly committing a double murder in Florida and falsifying passports in Arizona and North Carolina. According to federal prosecutors, he and his accomplices fled overseas after their crimes.

Craig Austin Lang

Nicole Argentieri, principal deputy assistant of the Department of Justice's criminal division, called Lang's actions "shocking" and commended the efforts of law enforcement for his capture.

In April 2018, Lang and fellow army vet Alex Jared Zwiefelhofer allegedly posted an online ad to sell weapons. They are accused of killing the couple who responded to the ad and stealing $3,000 intended for the purchase.

Zwiefelhofer, 27, told investigators he met Lang in Ukraine in 2017 while both were fighting Russian separatists. They planned to use the stolen money to travel to Venezuela to fight against the regime there. Zwiefelhofer was convicted in Florida in March and is awaiting sentencing in August.

In September 2018, Lang and another accomplice allegedly conspired in North Carolina to falsify U.S. passports by paying two people $1,500 and a suitcase of firearms and a smoke grenade. In June 2019, Lang used a U.S. passport to obtain a Mexican visa, violating U.S. passport regulations.

Lang was detained in Ukraine and extradited to the U.S. after the European Court of Human Rights rejected his appeal. He faces life in prison if convicted of the Florida murders and up to 35 years for the charges in North Carolina and Arizona.