ATF

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

October 22, 2009

Contact: Beth Lang

(701) 530-2420

(701) 530-2421 (fax)

Winnipeg Man Sentenced for Conspiracy to Export Arms and Drug Charges

BISMARCK — Acting U.S. Attorney Lynn C. Jordheim announced that on October 22, 2009, Gokhan Ozturk, a/k/a Shane Gokhan, 23, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, was sentenced before United States District Court Chief Judge Daniel L. Hovland on a charge of conspiracy to export arms in violation of the Arms Export Control Act and a charge of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. Ozturk pleaded guilty to the charges on August 14, 2009.

The incidents occurred from December 2007 until spring of 2008 between North Dakota and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Co-defendants Thomas Scher and Curtis Rolle purchased handguns on multiple occasions, two to three guns at a time, in Minot, North Dakota. Scher and Rolle made eight to ten trips to Winnipeg, where they smuggled the handguns into Canada. In Canada, they exchanged the handguns with Ozturk for ecstasy tablets and cash. Scher and Rolle returned to North Dakota with the ecstasy with the intent to distribute it in North Dakota.

Judge Hovland sentenced Ozturk to serve four years and nine months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Ozturk was ordered to pay a $200 special assessment to the Crime Victim’s Fund.

On July 13, 2009, Judge Hovland sentenced Thomas Scher on a charge of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance to serve one year and one day in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Scher was ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the Crime Victim’s Fund.

On August 18, 2009, Judge Hovland sentenced Curtis Rolle on a charge of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance to serve one year and one day in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Rolle was ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the Crime Victim’s Fund.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Ward County Narcotics Task Force, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Assistant United States Attorney David Hagler prosecuted the case.

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