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An alleged Iranian drug trafficker, whose network operates around the world on behalf of Iranian intelligence services, according to Washington, and two Canadians are accused of conspiracy and plotting to commit murder for others. (Archive photo)
Stéphane Bordeleau (View profile)
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Two Canadians and an Iranian are accused of plotting to murder two people , including an Iranian national, in the United States, according to a U.S. Department of Justice indictment.
According to the document, the two Canadians, Damion Patrick John Ryan and Adam Richard Pearson, were recruited through an alleged drug trafficker from Iran, Naji Ibrahim Sharifi-Zindashti, who allegedly operated on the instructions of an officer of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security.
According to American justice, the plot involved the payment of $350,000 to shoot down a man and a woman who lived in Maryland, on the American east coast.
The identity of the man and the woman is not specified in the 'indictment, but one of the two targets is believed to be an Iranian defector who found asylum in the United States.
According to the Department of Justice, Ryan, 43, is a member in good standing of the Hells Angels who is believed to have led a team of killers since late 2020. He is currently incarcerated in Canada for possession of firearms.
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Pearson, 29, who worked for Ryan, was living illegally in Minnesota at the time of the events which charges against him, in 2020 and 2021. He was arrested by the FBI in 2021 and extradited to Canada to answer for a murder committed in Alberta four years ago.
As for Zindashti, 49, he is currently in Iran.
All three men face charges of conspiracy and conspiracy to commit murder for hire.
According to the indictment, Zindashti and Ryan allegedly had exchanges, between December 2020 and January 2021, about work to be done, equipment, tools and projects to make money. In January 2021, they reportedly discussed work to be done in the United States. Ryan reportedly indicated that he might have someone to do it.
Ryan then allegedly contacted Pearson about a job in Maryland, recommending that two guys go there with the right equipment. Pearson allegedly promised to tell those recruited to shoot [one of the victims] several times in the head to make an example of her, adding that he would tell them: We have to erase his head of his torso, says the US Department of Justice.
According to US Attorney Andrew Luger, the three defendants allegedly used an encrypted messaging service called SkyECC to communicate with each other, including to discuss the identity and location of potential victims, to plan the logistics and mechanics of carrying out the murders, and to negotiate payment for the murders.
Thanks to the skill of federal prosecutors and law enforcement officers, this conspiracy has been dismantled and the defendants will face justice for their actions.
A quote from Andrew Luger, Attorney at the Department of Justice
None of the allegations contained in the action The charges have not yet been proven in court.
The filing of these charges by American justice comes at a time when tensions between Washington and Tehran are particularly high after the death, on Sunday, of three American soldiers in Jordan during a drone attack attributed to a militia supported by Iran.
As for Zindashti, the American government has notably promised sanctions against its network which would operate from Iran, where the Ministry of Intelligence and Security would give free rein to its criminal activities.
In exchange for protection from the Iranian state, the criminal group would carry out assassinations and kidnappings of dissidents and opponents of the Iranian regime around the world, according to Washington.
According to the US Department of Treasury, these operations were allegedly supervised by Reza Hamidiravari, an agent of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security.
The The Iranian regime's continued efforts to target dissidents and activists demonstrate the regime's deep insecurity and its attempt to expand Iran's domestic repression internationally, Brian Nelson said , US Treasury official.
Stéphane Bordeleau (Consult the profile)