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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lebanese Weapons Smuggler Sentenced To Prison

Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich today sentenced Yasser Ahmad Obeid (20, St. Petersburg and Lebanon) to four years and three months in federal prison for conspiring to smuggle firearms and attempting to export firearms from the United States. Obeid pleaded guilty on October 8, 2014.

According to court documents, Obeid and his co-defendant, Jordanian National Mahmoud Abdel-Ghani Mohammad Assaf were part of a network of individuals involved in smuggling firearms from the United States to the Middle East by concealing them in vehicles purchased at used car auctions in the Central Florida area, and then exporting them overseas. Obeid worked for Assaf and others to acquire the firearms and also acted as Assaf’s translator and middle-man in arranging the purchases from various sources. The men were arrested after Obeid arranged for Assaf to purchase 30 Glock firearms from an individual who, unbeknownst to the men, was an undercover federal agent.

The case against Assaf is still pending trial.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations – Tampa National Security Group. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Josephine W. Thomas.

Updated January 26, 2015