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Contraband
12/06/2010

Connecticut man charged with illegally importing, possessing body armor

HARTFORD, Conn. - David B. Fein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that Waheed Islam, also known as Walter Missouri, Jr., 43, of Seaman Circle, Manchester, Conn., has been charged by criminal complaint with the illegal importation and possession of a bullet proof vest.

According to the allegations set forth in the federal criminal complaint, on Nov. 28, 2010, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer at the DHL hub located in Hebron, Ky., intercepted and selected for border inspection a suspicious DHL package that had originated in China. The package, which was addressed to Waheed Islam, was manifested as containing a "100% cotton knitted men's vest." However, subsequent examination of the package revealed that it contained a bullet proof vest, specifically one set of Level IIIa body armor.

The complaint further alleges that Waheed Islam's criminal history includes numerous convictions for violent assaults, robberies and burglaries of varying degrees. It is a violation of federal for an individual to possess body armor if he has previously been convicted of a crime of violence.

Today, law enforcement officers from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the FBI, including a law enforcement officer acting in an undercover capacity, made a controlled delivery of the DHL package to Waheed Islam's Manchester residence. Waheed Islam was arrested after he signed for and accepted delivery of the parcel.

Following his arrest, Waheed Islam appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas P. Smith in Hartford and was detained pending a detention hearing that is scheduled for Dec. 8 at 10:00 a.m.

Waheed Islam is charged in the complaint with possession of ballistic body armor by an individual who has been convicted of a crime of violence, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of three years. He also is charged with illegally concealing the true nature of imported merchandise into the United States, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

U.S. Attorney Fein commended the substantial efforts and cooperation of the several agencies involved in this investigation in both Connecticut and Kentucky, including ICE HSI, FBI, CBP, Manchester Police Department and the State of Connecticut Office of Adult Probation.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen B. Reynolds.