2 men indicted for scheme to export firearms to Kurds in Iraq
SEATTLE – Two men were indicted by a federal grand jury in Seattle Wednesday for three federal felonies in connection with their scheme to smuggle dozens of firearms to Turkey and Iraq in violation of the Arms Export Control Act.
Paul Stuart Brunt, 51, of Bellevue, Washington, and Rawnd Khaleel Aldalawi, 29, of Seattle, were arrested on a criminal complaint January 24, 2018. The case is the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
According to records filed in the case, between October 2016 and November 2017, Brunt and Aldalawi engaged in a scheme to smuggle firearms from the U.S. to people associated with the Peshmerga military in Kurdistan, a part of Iraq. Brunt purchased the firearms at gun stores and gun shows around the Puget Sound region. The men then attempted to ship the guns from the Port of Seattle through Turkey and on to Iraq, hidden in the side panels of vehicles.
In the first shipment in February 2017, some 30 guns were hidden in three cars. In the second shipment in November 2017, 47 firearms were concealed in two vehicles. That second shipment was discovered by authorities in Turkey, and the shipment was traced back to Brunt and Aldalawi. The men had not obtained any export licenses for the firearms and smuggled them in violation of the Arms Export Control Act.
The conspiracy is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Violating the Arms Export Control Act is punishable by twenty years of imprisonment. The men are scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment on February 8, 2018.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Woods, Western District of Washington. The U.S. Department of Justice National Security Division is assisting with the prosecution.