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Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit
06/28/2010

Israeli national and California resident charged with illegal arms trafficking

MIAMI - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) special agents arrested Chanoch Miller on June 18 after arriving at Miami International Airport and Joseph O'Toole earlier today in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., after traveling there from his home in California on charges of illegal arms trafficking.

Joseph O'Toole, 79, of Claremont, Calif., and Chanoch Miller, 53, of Tel Aviv, Israel, were charged in a seven-count indictment with engaging in a conspiracy to export restricted defense articles designated on the U. S. Munitions List without a license, attempting to export the defense articles without a license, and engaging in brokering activities involving defense articles designated on the U. S. Munitions List, without first having registered with and obtained a license from, the U. S. Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls. The defendants are also charged with money laundering violations.

The indictment alleges that beginning on or about April 15, Joseph O'Toole and Chanoch Miller, engaged in a conspiracy to send at least 2000 AK-47 Assault Rifles to Somalia, an embargoed country. It was part of the conspiracy to conceal the final destination of the AK-47 Assault Rifles through false flight plans and fraudulent end user certificates.

If convicted, O'Toole faces a term of up to 55 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, and a fine of $1,500,000. If convicted, Miller faces a term of up to 75 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, and a fine of $2,000,000.

The investigation was conducted by ICE's Office of Homeland Security Investigations in Miami and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Michael Walleisa.