DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, February 2, 2016
A. Lee Bentley, III
, United States Attorney
Contact: William Daniels

Jordanian Weapons Smuggler Sentenced to Prison

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich has sentenced Mahmoud Abdel-Ghani Mohammad Assaf (47, Amman, Jordan)to 33 months in federal prison for conspiring to export firearms and attempting to export firearms without a license, in violation of federal export control and firearms laws.  The Court also ordered Assaf to forfeit the firearms and vehicles that had been involved in the offenses.  He pleaded guilty on March 24, 2015.

According to court documents, Assaf was part of a network of individuals involved in smuggling firearms from the United States to the Middle East. The firearms were concealed in vehicles that had been purchased at used car auctions in Central Florida. The vehicles were then scheduled for export to Jordan.

Two of Assaf’s co-conspirators, Eyad Farah (Barrington, TX) and Yasser Ahmad Obeid (St. Petersburg, FL and Lebanon), previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy.  Farah was sentenced to 37 months and Obeid was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, with assistance from the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Josephine W. Thomas and Adam M. Saltzman

HSI, with our domestic and international law enforcement partners, is dedicated to making communities safer by bringing criminals to justice and seizing firearms before they fall into the hands of transnational criminal organizations who pose a threat to public safety both here and abroad,” said Susan L. McCormick, special agent in charge of HSI Tampa.

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Field Division: Tampa Field Division