U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of New Jersey
District of New Jersey
For Immediate Release
December 20, 2012
Paul J. Fishman, United States Attorney
Contact: Matthew Reilly. Office of Public Affairs
Four Men Arrested for Conspiring to Sell Firearms Purported to Belong to the Family of Saddam Hussein
NEWARK, N.J. – Four men, including two New Jersey residents, were arrested today and charged with conspiring to sell seven firearms believed to have belonged to the family of Saddam Hussein, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
David Phillip Ryan, 48, of Miami, Fla.; Karlo Christian Sauer, 42, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Howard A. Blumenthal, 74, of Fort Lee, N.J.; and Carola M. Quirola, a/k/a Carlos Quirola- Ordonez, 55, of New Milford, N.J., were charged by Complaint with one count each of conspiracy to transport stolen firearms and conspiracy to sell and receive stolen property. Ryan is also charged with one count of unlawful mailing of firearms. Blumenthal and Quirola made their initial court appearances today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court. Ryan made his initial appearance in federal court in the Southern District of Florida and Sauer made his in the Western District of Pennsylvania.
According to the Complaint:
In April 2012, law enforcement received information that valuable firearms allegedly belonging to members of the family of the late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein were available for sale (
Hussein Family Firearms). The Hussein Family Firearms were believed to be kept in Florida and attempts were made to find a buyer in New Jersey for the weapons. The federal investigation revealed that the four defendants worked together to try to find a buyer for the Hussein Family Firearms in New Jersey. The firearms had been appraised at $250,000 to $350,000. During the course of the conspiracy, seven firearms were shipped to New Jersey for viewing by potential buyers.
Federal law enforcement officers seized the following firearms in the course of the investigation:
- One Coonan Arms Inc, .357 semi-automatic pistol, nickel finish, made in St. Paul, Minn., with gold inlay and a medallion "QS" on left side grip (believed to be the initials of Qusay Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti, the second son of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein);
- One Korth, .357 magnum revolver (six shot) stamped "Made in W. Germany Waffenfabrik Koth Ratzeburg/LBG," with gold inlay, blackfinish, wood grips, which displays a drawing of a wild boar;
- One Korth, .357 magnum, revolver (six shot) stamped "Made in W. Germany Waffenfabrik Koth Ratzeburg/LBG," with gold inlay, black finish, wood grips, which displays a drawing of a moose;
- One Chinese State Factories type 64 pistol, .32 caliber semi-auto pistol, black finish, with Yemen flag icon on both sides of grip and Arabic writing on the slide;
- Two Cosmi, 12 gauge shotguns, break top, single barrel;
- One Llama Semiautomatic .45 ACP pistol with gold leaf and gold inlays, hand engraved, bearing the initials "Q.S."
The counts with which the four defendants are charged are punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The unlawful mailing count with which Ryan is additionally charged is punishable by a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Donald J. Sorrano; Homeland Securities Investigation-ICE , under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Andrew McLees, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The case is being prosecuted by Serina M. Vash, Senior Litigation Counsel of the Organized Crime and Gangs Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the Complaints are merely accusations and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.