U.S. man accused of arms dealing, attempted murder in Venezuela

by Reuters
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 18:52 GMT

CARACAS, April 23 (Reuters) - A Venezuelan court ordered a U.S. citizen to remain behind bars on Wednesday for alleged arms trafficking and attempted murder after police arrested the man during a raid on a home in the west of the country.

A Supreme Court statement named the man as Todd Michael Leininger. It said he was detained in Tachira state in possession of multiple firearms after shooting and wounding another man there.

A U.S. Embassy official in Caracas said consular officials were seeking to make contact with Leininger, adding that he could not provide further details because of privacy rules.

The court's brief statement did not specify a date for Leininger's appearance.

A local newspaper said Leininger was aged 32 and had been in the country for two months. It said he was staying in Tachira with his Venezuelan wife and that the incident took place on Saturday after an argument between him and a neighbor over loud music.

Tachira, on the border with Colombia, has been a focus of deadly anti-government protests that began in mid-February. (Reporting by Daniel Wallis and Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Dan Grebler)