Citizen Of Ghana And Canada Sentenced To 29 Months In Prison For Role In Gun Smuggling Scheme
CONCORD, N.H. – Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced today that Joel A. Tetteh, 53, a citizen of Ghana and Canada, was sentenced to serve 29 months in prison for orchestrating a scheme in which he unlawfully purchased firearms in New Hampshire and smuggled them to Ghana.
According to court documents and statements in court, Tetteh purchased a total of six handguns from a federally licensed firearms dealer in Hooksett, New Hampshire on April 29, 2014, October 29, 2014, and May 6, 2015. In purchasing these handguns, Tetteh filled out a form in which he stated that he resided at a location in Merrimack, New Hampshire. A subsequent law enforcement investigation showed that this statement was false. At the time of the purchase, Tetteh was residing in Worcester, Massachusetts and never resided at the address in Merrimack. Under federal law, the firearms dealer could not have lawfully sold these firearms to the defendant because he was not a resident of New Hampshire.
During a subsequent interview with law enforcement officers, Tetteh acknowledged that he had purchased the guns and shipped them to Ghana inside motor vehicles. He further admitted that in 2012 he had arranged for another person to purchase two additional firearms in New Hampshire, which also were sent to Ghana.
The firearms that Tetteh purchased are defense articles that may not be exported without a license from the State Department. Tetteh did not have such a license.
Tetteh previously pleaded guilty on September 9, 2016, to three counts of making material false statements during the acquisition of a firearm, three counts of making false statements during the purchase of a firearm, and three counts of smuggling goods from the United States
“The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute gun-related crimes.” Acting U.S. Attorney Farley said. “International gun smuggling is a serious crime that can lead to violent acts in other countries and undermine the stability of foreign governments. I commend the hard work of the law enforcement agents who investigated this significant case.”
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by Acting U.S. Attorney Farley.