A federal judge denied a request by a former contractor, convicted of killing an Afghan civilian, for permission to return to Afghanistan for employment, according to a ruling made public Wednesday.
Calling the request “ill-timed” and “the epitome of arrogance,” U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar flatly refused to give Virginia Beach resident Chris Drotleff permission to leave the country, much less for travel to Afghanistan.
Drotleff and another former contractor were convicted in the shooting death of an unarmed Afghan civilian two years ago while working for a subsidiary of the private security contractor Blackwater, now known as Xe, which has facilities in Moyock, N.C.
A jury acquitted them of murder and related charges in the shooting deaths of two Afghans and the wounding of a third. But the jury found they acted unlawfully in one of the deaths and convicted them of involuntary manslaughter. Doumar sentenced them to prison but they remain free on bond pending appeal.
Last month, Drotleff through his attorney asked Doumar for permission to travel to Kandahar to work for a government contractor laying concrete and fiber-optic cable. Drotleff told the court he needed the high-paying work to support his family.
Federal prosecutors opposed the request, telling the court it would be impossible for Drotleff to be suitably supervised by probation officers while over there.