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October 21, 2013 at 1:08 PM
A convicted Bulgarian fugitive and human trafficker, responsible for the deaths of 18 Sri Lankan nationals who suffocated in the back of a cargo truck in 1995, has been arrested in Kirkland, where he had been working as a long-haul trucker, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
Members of the Marshals-led Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force arrested 58-year-old Plamen Vladimirov Trifonov last week, according to a federal court docket. He is being held pending a Nov. 1 extradition and detention hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge James Donohue.
Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal James Adkins, who commands the task force, said Trifonov was arrested after federal law-enforcement authorities determined he had been living in the Seattle area. Adkins said Trifonov immigrated illegally to the U.S. in 2005 and was arrested by U.S. Immigration authorities in 2006. Trifonov was facing deportation, and Adkins said “nobody had a clue” that he had been convicted in 2002 and sentenced to eight years in prison in Bulgaria. At the time, Adkins said, it would not have mattered since Buglaria and the U.S. have only had an extradition treaty since 2009.
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