United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington
CANADIAN CONVICTED OF ILLEGAL GUN TRAFFICKING AND LYING TO BORDER PROTECTION OFFICERS
Defendant Possessed Dozens of Guns at Ferndale, Washington Storage Facility
OLIVER KING, aka Hamid Malekpour, 35, of Vancouver, BC was convicted today in U.S. District Court in Seattle of five counts related to the trafficking and possession of nearly two dozen firearms. KING was arrested May 19, 2010, after he traveled from British Columbia to McMinnville, Oregon and transporting 21 firearms back to the border region. After a five-day trial the jury found KING guilty of unlawful dealing in firearms, being a non-immigrant alien in possession of firearms, and three counts of making false statements to a government agency. Jurors deliberated for about five hours. When sentenced by U.S. District Judge James L. Robart on April 11, 2011, KING faces up to ten years in prison.
According to records in the case and testimony at trial, KING repeatedly lied to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers when he crossed over the border into the U.S. from Canada. For example on May 18, 2010, KING stated he was crossing into the U.S. to pick up his wife at the Target store in Bellingham. Instead KING drove straight to a storefront in McMinnville, Oregon and picked up boxes of firearms and ammunition. KING had used a U.S. citizen to set up a business called McMinnville Hunting and Police Supply. On the morning of May 19, 2010, KING loaded approximately 10 boxes from the business and drove straight back to Ferndale, Washington where he unloaded the boxes of weapons and ammunition into a storage facility. KING had hidden his role in the McMinnville business from regulators. As a non-immigrant alien, he was prohibited from possessing firearms. KING was convicted of providing false information to border officials on three separate occasions. KING’s trips had aroused the interest of law enforcement who tracked his activities on the May 18 visit. He was arrested at the Ferndale storage facility and 21 high-end firearms were seized.
In her closing argument, Assistant United States Attorney Susan Roe noted that KING’s arsenal of guns was in “full array” on display for the jury. “Mr. King’s deception is just as big and obvious in this case, as the guns,” Ms. Roe told the jury.
“The defendant in this case illegally possessed weapons, trafficked them without a license and deceived investigators to cover up his actions,” said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in the Pacific Northwest. “HSI will continue to address illegal trafficking of weapons both domestically and internationally.”
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Susan Roe and Matthew Diggs.