News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

MONDAY - March 7, 2011

FAYETTEVILLE RESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY

IN FIREARMS TRAFFICKING CASE

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court today RAMADAN RAMA, 40, pled guilty before United States District Judge James C. Dever III, to failure to notify a common carrier of a firearm, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(e) and exporting defense articles without a license, in violation of Title 22, United States Code, Section 2778(b).

In this country we are fortunate to have the Constitutional right to bear arms. However, it is of grave concern when one of our citizens attempts to violate laws pertaining to that right that are designed to protect the people of our country and our international friends,” commented Mr. Holding. “We take these offenses seriously and will prosecute them accordingly.”

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on December 14, 2010.

According to the Criminal Complaint filed on November 5, 2010, on March 16, 2010, RAMA, a resident of Fayetteville, North Carolina, arrived in Pristina, Kosovo, from Raleigh Durham Airport. Upon a search of his checked luggage, officials found two disassembled semi-automatic pistols that had been wrapped in aluminum foil in an attempt to avoid detection.

The Criminal Complaint further alleges that on September 22, 2010, RAMA departed Raleigh Durham Airport en route to Pristina, Kosovo. During a layover in Vienna where Austrian Customs authorities performed a baggage check, the authorities located a disassembled Walther P22 .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol concealed in the lining of a leather bag packed in his checked luggage.

“The illegal international transportation of a firearm is a crime that cannot be tolerated,” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge Zebedee T. Graham, “We will continue to devote our manpower and resources to identifying and prosecuting those that chose to engage in this type of gun crime.”

"The illegal export of weapons is a serious violation," said Brock Nicholson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of ICE HSI in Atlanta. "As demonstrated in this case, we are committed to working with our international affairs offices overseas and our federal partners to continue pursuing individuals and organizations which seek to circumvent our export laws.”

At sentencing, set for June 20, 2011, RAMA faces up to five years’ imprisonment for failing to notify a common carrier of a firearm and up to 20 years’ imprisonment for exporting defense articles without a license.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorney Toby Lathan represented the government.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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