Fugitive arrested in Seattle area as Bulgaria seeks extradition to face trafficking conviction

U.S. authorities have arrested a Bulgarian fugitive convicted of human trafficking and negligent homicide.

Bulgarian officials are seeking the extradition of Plamen Vladimirov Trifonov. U.S. authorities responded to that request by arresting the 58-year-old last week in Kirkland, a Seattle suburb.

The U.S. Marshals office says Trifonov drove a group of Sri Lankan nationals in the cargo area of his truck from Romania into Hungary in 2005. Officials say that in Hungary, the truck's cargo area got too hot, and Trifonov eventually found that many passengers had died. Officials say he abandoned the truck, and authorities later found 18 corpses.

In Bulgaria, Trifonov was found guilty of human smuggling and negligent homicide. He was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2002.

Trifonov's court-appointed attorney in Washington state declined comment.