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December 3, 2019Chicago, IL, United StatesFirearms, Ammunition and Explosives

Chicago-area man sentenced to 18 months for conspiring to 'straw purchase' handguns for illegal export to Egypt

CHICAGO — A suburban Chicago man was sentenced Tuesday to a year and a half in federal prison for conspiring to straw purchase handguns on behalf of a woman who allegedly tried to smuggle the firearms into Egypt.

This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney John R. Lausch Jr., Northern District of Illinois, and Special Agent in Charge James M. Gibbons, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Chicago Police Department also provided valuable assistance.

Omran Ismail, 53, of Burbank, Illinois, purchased four handguns in November 2013 from a licensed firearms dealer in Tinley Park, Illinois.  He then immediately transferred the guns to co-defendant Ola Sayed so that she could smuggle them to Egypt.  The guns were discovered in Sayed's checked luggage at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport as she attempted to board a flight to Cairo via London. 

A federal jury in Chicago convicted Ismail earlier this year of both firearm counts against him.  U.S. District Judge Sara L. Ellis imposed the 18-month sentence after a hearing in federal court.

Sayed, of Palos Park, Illinois, was also charged in this conspiracy.  But she fled and is considered a fugitive.

According to evidence presented at Ismail's trial, Ismail purchased four 9mm firearms from the gun dealer on Nov. 18, 2013. 

When he purchased the firearms, Ismail completed a federal form falsely certifying that he was the actual buyer. 

Ismail picked up the guns from the dealer five days later, at which time he confirmed that all of his answers on the form were "still true, correct, and complete." 

Ismail then immediately transferred all four firearms to Sayed, so that Sayed could take the firearms with her to Egypt.

Sayed purchased two other 9mm firearms, and took all six guns with her to O'Hare Airport on Dec. 23, 2013, according to the criminal charges pending against her. 

Authorities at the airport discovered the guns in Sayed's checked luggage as she waited to board her flight, the charges against Sayed allege.

Updated: 10/08/2020