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Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives
12/17/2014

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Lebanese weapons smuggler sentenced to prison

TAMPA, Fla. — A Lebanese man was sentenced Wednesday to four years and three months in federal prison for conspiring to smuggle firearms and attempting to export firearms from the United States. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

"The sentencing of this weapons smuggler is the result of the hard work of HSI special agents and partner agencies," said Susan L. McCormick, special agent in charge of HSI Tampa. "This demonstrates HSI's commitment to dismantling transnational criminal organizations."

According to court documents, Yasser Ahmad Obeid, 20, of St. Petersburg and Lebanon, and his co-defendant, Jordanian citizen Mahmoud Abdel-Ghani Mohammad Assaf, were part of a network of individuals involved in smuggling firearms from the United States to the Middle East by concealing them in vehicles purchased at used car auctions in the central Florida area, and then exporting them overseas. Obeid worked for Assaf and others to acquire the firearms and also acted as Assaf’s translator and middle-man in arranging the purchases from various sources. The men were arrested after Obeid arranged for Assaf to purchase 30 Glock firearms from an individual who, unbeknownst to the men, was an undercover federal agent.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 12/18/2014