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07/21/2011

North Carolina resident sentenced for illegally exporting firearms

RALEIGH, N.C. - A North Carolina resident was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for failing to notify a commercial carrier of a firearm and exporting defense articles without a license, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Ramadan Rama, 40, was also fined $4,000 by the court.

A federal grand jury returned a criminal indictment on Dec. 14, 2010 and on March 9, Rama pleaded guilty to failure to notify a commercial carrier of a firearm, in violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 922(e) and exporting defense articles without a license, in violation of Title 22, U.S. Code, Section 2778(b).

According to the criminal complaint, on March 16, 2010, Rama arrived in Pristina, Kosovo, from the Raleigh Durham Airport. Upon a search of his checked luggage, officials found two disassembled semi-automatic pistols that had been wrapped in aluminum foil in an attempt to avoid detection.

The criminal complaint further alleges that on Sept. 22, 2010, Rama departed the Raleigh Durham Airport en route to Pristina, Kosovo. During a layover in Vienna where Austrian Customs authorities performed a baggage check, the authorities located a disassembled a Walther P22 .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol concealed in the lining of a leather bag packed in his checked luggage.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Toby Lathan of the Eastern District of North Carolina represented the government in this case.