FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – A Broward County jury convicted a Norwegian man of jumping bond on a drug case more than three decades ago.
Thore Hansen, 68, was found guilty Thursday afternoon. His original charges stemmed from allegedly trafficking cocaine in Miami in the 1980s.
Hansen, who handled his own defense, told the jury he was a CIA operative who was hired to rent property in South Florida to train a “broomstick army” to overthrow the government of Jean-Claude“Baby Doc” Duvalier in Haiti in the early 80’s.
Hansen claims he left the trial under duress after another alleged CIA operative told him in the courtroom that his wife and baby were about to be kidnapped by Libyan agents.
Federal authorities claim Hansen fled the courtroom, hid out in the woods, then took a sailboat to the Bahamas and eventually left to Norway, his native country, which does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S.
Hansen was convicted in absentia and eventually extradited from Belgium to serve seven years in a U.S. prison. After serving his sentence, he was expelled from the United States.
However, Hansen insisted he wanted to “clear his name” on the bond jumping charge, find his daughter, and expose a CIA conspiracy. So, Hansen tried twice in 2012 to return to Miami to face the bond jumping charges. He was eventually allowed in to the country and taken into custody last November for the proceeding.
The government alleges Hansen’s claims are outrageous.
Nonetheless, his court-appointed defense attorney, who handled his closing statement, says he thinks Hansen is telling the truth.
“Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction,” said Hansen’s attorney Joseph Chambrot.
“I am working on a screenplay about Thore,” said Mark Scheibert, one of Hansen’s friends, who has been the courtroom every day. Sheibert is accused of bringing an unauthorized recording device hidden in a pen into the courtroom during Hansen’s trial and was given a criminal citation by the federal protective service.
Hansen is set for sentencing in March at which time he could receive a 5 year prison sentence and then be, once again, kicked out of the country.
Hansen has a colorful past as a Norwegian folk music singer and former biker gang member who was convicted decades ago in connection with a Central Florida murder.
Hansen is vowing to “fight until the truth really does come out.”