News and Press Releases

Villa Rica Resident Sentenced to Three Years for Exporting Military Holographic Weapons Sights and M4 Rifle Gun Parts

August 3, 2011

ATLANTA, GA -- ANDREW VINCENT O’DONNELL, 33, of Villa Rica, Georgia, was sentenced earlier this week by United States District Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr. to serve 3 years in federal prison on charges of violating the Arms Export Control Act, conspiring to violate the Arms Export Control Act, and possessing short barrel rifles.

“The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the technology used by our military.  Given the turmoil around the world, it is even more imperative that we prevent the unlawful export of military items, and those who choose to make money over obeying our export laws are taking away the tactical advantage of our military,” said Sally Quillian Yates, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.

“The illegal export of U.S. weapons and technology poses a direct threat to our nation's security and to the safety of our troops, officers and agents abroad,” said Brock Nicholson, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Atlanta. “ICE takes violations of the Arms Export Control Act very seriously and we will continue to aggressively investigate these cases.”

O’DONNELL was sentenced to 3 years in prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a fine of $2,500.  O’DONNELL pleaded guilty to the charges on February 25, 2011.

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: O’DONNELL operated an eBay “online store” through which he sold various gun parts and accessories, including export controlled military holographic weapons sights, which have night vision capability and are designed to enhance precision shooting.  He also sold gun parts used to assemble M4 rifles.

Between January 2008 and January 2009, O’DONNELL sold over approximately 50 export-controlled “EOTech Holographic Weapon Sights” of various models to the customer in Hong Kong.  O’DONNELL knew the items required an export license issued by either the State Department or the Department of Commerce before they could be shipped from the United States. O’DONNELL never applied for or received an export license for any military items.

According to the evidence, O’DONNELL devised a scheme to export these items in a manner to conceal the true identity of the parts by marking the shipments as “toys.”

Additionally in 2009, O’DONNELL sold “VLTOR Upper Receivers” for shipment to Japan, which is a specific gun part is used in assembling an AR15/M16/M4 rifle.  O’DONNELL sold the parts to the customer in Japan and arranged to have the items shipped out of the country through a third party in order to make the sale appear legitimate and to further conceal his illegal export activities.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration, Customs and Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations.

Assistant United States Attorney Tracia M. King prosecuted the case.

For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is                




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