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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida
Roger B. Handberg, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Monday, December 11, 2023

Venezuelan National Sentenced to Federal Prison in Connection with Attempted Illegal Firearms Exportation

FORT MYERS, Fla. — U.S. District Judge Thomas Barber has sentenced Omar Arriojas, 57, of Cape Coral, to 18 months in federal prison for attempting to smuggle goods from the U.S. and making a false statement during a firearms acquisition. Arriojas had pleaded guilty on June 28.

According to court records, in January 2023, Arriojas attempted to ship a package from the U.S. to Venezuela, which was searched by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents prior to exportation. Inside the package, agents found a large used air conditioner within which several items were concealed, including three handguns, handgun magazines and more than 50 rounds of ammunition. By law, such items require a special license prior to exportation, which Arriojas had never obtained.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Simon R. Eth.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department of Justice launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.


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