Keith Raniere was captured in Mexico on March 25, 2018. He has been in US Government custody ever since.
Keith Raniere was captured in Mexico on March 25, 2018. He has been in US Government custody ever since.
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Raniere: Five Years Down, 97 To Go

Five years ago, it was supposed to be an NXIVM work vacation, but for Keith Raniere, it turned out to be the end of the line.

Five years ago, on March 25, 2018, Keith Alan Raniere lost his physical freedom and never regained it.

Raniere was staying in a gated community in Chacala, Mexico, with several members of NXIVM, a company he founded that was virtually destroyed. The group was on a work vacation focusing on marketing and enrollment strategies.

Keith Raniere was captured in Mexico on March 25, 2018. He has been in US Government custody ever since.

On the morning of March 25, Raniere wasn’t feeling well and napped with one of the members, Lauren Salzman. When Lauren went to the kitchen, she returned to find Loreta informing her that the police were at the door for Raniere.

Lauren attempted to get Raniere to leave through the window, but he told her to call Jack. Lauren didn’t know how to use Raniere’s phone, so she locked the suite and closed the doors and blinds.

Federal police with machine guns and bulletproof vests surrounded the property and searched it until they found the only place they couldn’t search was the room where Raniere and Lauren were. The police demanded Lauren open the door, but she asked to see a warrant first.

Mugshot: NXIVM Cult Leader Keith Raniere
Mugshot: NXIVM Cult Leader Keith Raniere

They kicked down the door, grabbed Lauren, held her on the floor with four machine guns pointed at her, and asked if anyone else was in the room. Lauren didn’t answer, fearing they would shoot her, so she called out Raniere’s name. In the walk-in closet where Raniere was hiding, the police kicked down the door, and Raniere surrendered.

Raniere was deported to Texas, where FBI agents were waiting. He was held in custody and arraigned but not granted bail. The US Marshal’s service brought Raniere to Brooklyn, where he remained in custody at the Brooklyn MDC through his six-week trial, which ended on June 19, 2019.

The trial was a high-profile affair, with many former members testifying against Raniere. The jury ultimately found him guilty of all charges, and he was sentenced to 120 years in prison.

Raniere’s lawyers have filed several motions, including an appeal and a Rule 33 motion, in the hopes of getting him released early, but so far, none have been successful. He is currently serving his sentence in the SHU at USP Tuscon, and his release date is June 27, 2120, unless he wins his appeal or some other motion.

Keith Raniere now resides in the USP-Tucson SHU.

Raniere founded NXIVM, a company that offered self-improvement courses, but it was also accused of being a cult that engaged in sex trafficking, forced labor, and other illegal activities.

Raniere’s arrest and conviction were the result of a lengthy investigation that revealed the dark side of NXIVM. Raniere’s sentencing saw several of his followers describing how he manipulated and abused them. Raniere’s case has received widespread media attention, and his downfall has been the subject of several documentaries and podcasts. The case has also raised questions about the dangers of charismatic leaders and the potential for abuse in self-improvement organizations.

Five years after his arrest, Raniere’s story remains a cautionary tale. It also highlights the importance of investigative journalism in exposing wrongdoing and holding powerful people accountable for their actions.

About the author

Frank Parlato

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