Konstantin Yaroshenko

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"Drug Trafficker"
Person.png Konstantin YaroshenkoRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Konstantin Yaroshenko.jpg
Criminal charge
conspiracy to traffic drugs
SpouseViktoria Yaroshenko
Alleged drug trafficker who was the subject of at least 3 requests for extradition by the Russian government. Sentenced to 20 years in jail, freed in 2022 in a prisoner swap.

Konstantin Yaroshenko is a Russian citizen and former air-cargo pilot. The DEA have claimed that he is a Drug Trafficker after his arrest in what he claimed was a string operation. He refused to testify against Viktor Bout. His wife, Viktoria has claimed that the US authorities offered his family permanent residency in the US if he would testify against Viktor Bout.[1] He was subsequently sentenced to 20 years in jail for allegedly participating in a plot to smuggle cocaine into the US and other markets. In April 2022 he was released in a prisoner swap for US marine Trevor Reed.[2]


Yaroshenko was captured in Monrovia, the capital of the West African nation of Liberia, in a 2010 US DEA sting operation dubbed Operation Relentless, and extradited to the USA. [3]


He denied all charges while his lawyers argued [4]that the prosecution withheld crucial evidence from the defense and the jury. [5] Yaroshenko described the charges as a frame-up and the arrest as a provocation. His appeal for a retrial was rejected. Konstantin’s wife, Viktoria, later claimed that the US authorities offered his family permanent residency in the US in exchange for testifying against Viktor Bout – a deal he had rejected.[6]


On September 7, 2011, a US court sentenced Yaroshenko to 20 years in jail. In April 2019 the Russian government made its third request to the USDOJ for his extradition.[7] Sputnik News issued a series of reports on his case in 2012.[8]


In 2019 Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called on the U.S. to free Yaroshenko.[9] In April 2022 he was freed in exchange for Trevor Reed.[10]

Civic Chamber

In October 2022, Yaroshenko was appointed to membership of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation by the Russian president's decree, having earlier expressed an interest in "human rights advocacy" and "social work." Russia's Civic Chamber describes its purpose as "to help citizens interact with government officials and local authorities in order to take into account the needs and interests of citizens, to protect their rights and freedoms in the process of shaping and implementing state policies, and to exercise public control over the activities of executive authorities."[11]