DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Texas

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Prerak Shah (Acting)
, United States Attorney
Contact: Erin Dooley

Five-Time ‘Career Criminal’ Sentenced to 27 Years for Gun Crime

A five-time felon found guilty of a gun crime was sentenced today to 27 years in federal prison, announced Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah.

Following a two-day trial in March, a jury in Fort Worth convicted Abedel Sattar Alkheqani, 27, of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.  He was sentenced Tuesday afternoon by Senior U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means.

Due to his multiple prior felony convictions, Mr. Alkheqani received a sentencing enhancement under the Armed Career Criminal Act, which raises the maximum penalty for offenders with three previous convictions for a violent felony or serious drug offense. 

According to evidence presented at trial, Mr. Alkheqani was arrested in March 2020, after officers with the Arlington Police Department identified him as a suspect in a shooting that occurred in a residential neighborhood in Arlington, Texas.

Witnesses told law enforcement that the suspect exited a pickup truck, pistol in hand, and fired three times as the victim tried to flee. The victim was struck multiple times and hospitalized, but ultimately recovered.

Based on witnesses’ descriptions of the suspect’s truck as well as surveillance video, officers were able to locate the truck used in the shooting approximately a half-mile from the scene.  They determined the truck was registered to Mr. Alkheqani and noted that he matched witnesses’ descriptions of the shooter.

When officers pulled Mr. Alkheqani over a few hours later, they discovered marijuana in his jacket pocket and arrested him for possession. He then gave written consent for officers to search his home and vehicle.

During the search of Mr. Alkheqani's truck, law enforcement recovered a single round of 9mm caliber ammunition, which matched the manufacturer and caliber of the shell casings recovered at the shooting scene. At his residence, they recovered a .22 caliber rifle beside his bed and a magazine containing ammunition for the rifle within arm’s reach.

Mr. Alkheqani told officers that the rifle was his wife’s, but in recorded jailhouse calls, Mr. Alkheqani asked his wife, “is my rifle still there?” before correcting himself and stating, “I mean your rifle.” 

Forensic analysis later revealed that gunshot residue was recovered from Mr. Alkheqani’s body on the day of the shooting.

A query of Mr. Alkheqani's criminal history revealed five prior felony convictions, including four for burglary of a habitation – all offenses that made it a federal crime for him to possess a firearm or ammunition.

The Arlington Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Levi Thomas and Frank Gatto tried the case.

Dallas Field Division