Ex-Army ranger and his two former solider buddies WILL be extradited to the Netherlands 'after being hired as a hitmen to brutally murder German businessman'
A former US Army Ranger and his two ex-soldier buddies accused of acting as a hitmen in the brutal slaying of a German businessman in the Netherlands will be extradited to face the charges against them.
The US District Court of Connecticut ordered that Jacob Mazeika, 38, be sent overseas to stand trial in the 2019 murder of Thomas Schwarz, according to court records dated September 20.
He faces 19 charges in the Netherlands including murder, aggravated manslaughter and extortion resulting in death.
Mazeika was arrested in Connecticut last April and has remained in custody ever since.
Justin Causey, of Colorado, and William Lyle Johnson, a former Mississippi sheriff's deputy, have also been approved for extradition in connection with the case.
Johnson was arrested in the US at the end of April and was held without bail. His extradition to the Netherlands was granted on September 15.
Causey's extradition was granted on September 7.
It remains unclear exactly when the extraditions will take place.
Mazeika, of Connecticut, and two other soldiers - - were reportedly hired by a Swiss businessman to kill Schwarz, a struggling farmer who allegedly owed money to Lukas Fecker.
Schwarz was found dead at his home in Bergen on November 26, 2019. His hands and feet had been tied with wire.
Dutch police were called to his residence after receiving reports that Schwarz's front door was open and the 'handle stained with blood'.
According to court documents, Schwarz had suffered several deep stab wounds, serious injuries to his back, broken ribs and his throat had been slashed.
Neighbors reported hearing a loud bang and seeing 'one person bent over, holding a sheet or blanket, as well as a woman'. It is unclear who the woman is. Two men in hats were later seen going into the home.
They also recalled seeing a Volkswagen Polo, rented by Causey and Fecker, outside Schwarz's home on the morning of November 26.
When Causey went to return the rental car he left out to floor mats, stating 'he had cleaned the floor mats but had forgotten to put them back in the car before returning it'. Police said the car had 'trace amounts' of Schwarz's blood on it.
Additionally, Mazeika and Johnson are then said to have joined Causey at a hotel close to Schwarz's home in the November, days before the killing.
The pair then returned home to the US two days after Schwarz's death.
Investigators also found 'numerous' encrypted telephone exchanges between Causey, Mazeika and Johnson.
In one conversation where the men were trying to determine how hard it would be to 'grab' Schwarz, Causey wrote: ''… fat, not strong. If the door closes and the street is clear, we take the key and open. Brachial stun makes one quiet.'
'Oh we can prevent sound I was asking in the sense of if he goes down on the hit how heavy is he,' Mazeika responded, noting that using the front door would make it 'easier to bum rush' an entry and 'shove him back in fast.'
The day after the murder, Causey allegedly texted his girlfriend that he didn't 'feel good about this last job' but was returning to the US with more than $200,000.
'$230,000 in 2 months,' he wrote. 'The work, though …. Lord. Lessons learned on my side. Big lessons on [Lukas Fecker's] side. Flawless execution of the plan … Jacob is good as gold. I wish Will didn't come attached. He's a good guy, but … you know'
Johnson claimed he was paid $10,000.
It is unclear how much money Mazeika received or what his role in the plot was.
However, according to a court filing by US prosecutors, 'Mazeika was integral to the planning and execution of the operation, not a minimal participant.'