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Press Release

Dearborn Heights Resident Pleads Guilty to Illegal Possession of Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

A 22-year-old Dearborn Heights man pleaded guilty today to charges of making a false statement to acquire a firearm and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today. 

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Division.

Khalil Abu-Rayyan pleaded guilty before United States District Judge George Caram Steeh in Detroit. 

According to court records, on October 5, 2015, Khalil Abu-Rayyan purchased a .22 caliber revolver from a sporting goods store in Dearborn Heights.  At the time of purchase, Abu-Rayyan made a false statement on ATF Form 4473, stating “no” in response to a question that asks whether the purchaser is an unlawful user of a controlled substance.  On November 15, 2015, Abu-Rayyan attempted to purchase another pistol from a different sporting goods store.  However, due to pending state charges, was unable to purchase the pistol.  On that occasion, Abu-Rayyan again falsely stated on ATF Form 4473 that he was not an unlawful user of a controlled substance.  Abu-Rayyan subsequently admitted to law enforcement that he was an habitual user of marijuana during the time period in which he purchased the .22 caliber revolver.  Abu-Rayyan has also since pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana in the state case, and is currently awaiting trial in state court on the charge of carrying a concealed weapon in an automobile.   

According to the criminal complaint, photographs and postings on Abu-Rayyan's social media sites, as well as conversations with an undercover FBI employee, indicated his support for the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization, and his desire to conduct a martyrdom operation, including with the use of firearms.

Abu-Rayyan was arrested on February 4, 2016, by FBI agents and remains in custody pending his sentencing which has been scheduled for January 9, 2017.  Abu-Rayyan faces a term of up 20 years in federal prison.

Updated September 13, 2016

Firearms Offenses