A murder suspect who fled to Guyana after a 2011 Queens killing was brought back to the city Thursday to finally face charges
Troy Thomas, 33, was charged with murder by NYPD detectives
It's the first extradition case ever between the U.S. and Guyana
Thomas is accused of killing Keith Frank at a house party on December 11, 2011
He was identified as a suspect early in the investigation but he had already fled to Guyana, which doesn't have an extradition treaty with the U.S.
Guyana has extradited a criminal for the very first time ever and the suspect is now back in the U.S. and awaiting trial for a shooting.
Troy Thomas, 33, fled to the South American country eight years ago to escape a murder charge but is now behind bars in Queens after being extradited to New York City.
Thomas is accused of shooting to death Keith Frank in 2011 outside a house party in South Ozone Park, police said. He later died at a hospital in Queens.
Guyana police received a request from U.S. authorities to arrest Thomas but he didn't exhaust his extradition appeals until this week, according to embassy officials.
Guyana Police Force officers apprehended Thomas in 2018, and he has remained in Lusignan prison since then.
His transfer to the US marks the first time anyone has been removed from the country and sent back to the U.S., setting a new precedent for Guyana, which has not previously extradited to the USA according to the New York Post.
The defendant has been on the run for eight years, but today he is in our custody and will answer for the senseless killing of a 20-year-old man in South Richmond Hill, Queens, just before Christmas in 2011,' said Chief Assistant District Attorney John M. Ryan.
'The family of the victim deserves justice for their deceased loved one. The defendant now faces a lengthy term of incarceration for his alleged actions.'
It took a full year of negotiations between Guyanese government and the U.S., Embassy before the transfer could finally take place.
'Corruption and criminal activity rob the Government and citizens of Guyana of money that could have been spent on education, health care, and important infrastructure work. Extraditions are an important law enforcement tool in fighting transnational criminal organizations. Today, a fugitive from justice is being extradited to the United States to stand trial, creating a new precedent,' Ambassador Sarah Lynch said in a statement.
'The Government of Guyana's actions over the past year clearly indicate its dedication to law and order and established norms of international criminal justice – Guyana is moving in the right direction. Establishing a roadmap for future extraditions, bringing a fugitive to justice, making Guyana a safer place for Guyanese citizens – this is the best example of rule of law existing in Guyana.'
Thomas, who is a native of Guyana and covered in tattoos, was hauled in front of a judge on Thursday afternoon but said nothing.
The tiny country, which is about the size of Oregon and borders Venezuela and Brazil, has a population of less than 800,000.