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CONCORD, N.H. – Audi N. Sumilat, a resident of El Paso, Texas, pleaded guilty in federal court to participating in a scheme to illegally buy numerous guns and then smuggle them out of the country for the benefit of members of the protective security detail of the President and the Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia -- also known as the Indonesian Presidential Guard. Sumilat pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to make false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms, to make false statements in records required to be kept by federal firearms dealers and to smuggle firearms from the U.S. Sumilat is 36 years old.
According to statements made during his plea hearing, Sumilat joined a conspiracy to buy guns in Texas and New Hampshire for members of the Indonesian Presidential Guard with the understanding that the guns then would be smuggled out of the U.S. Specifically, Sumilat – on active duty with the U.S. Army – admitted that he and three members of the Presidential Guard came up with the plan in October 2014, when they were all stationed together for training in Fort Benning, Georgia. Sumilat further admitted that in September and October 2015, as part of the plan, he purchased guns in Texas for members of the Indonesian Presidential Guard that members of that protective detail could not lawfully buy in the U.S. themselves. Sumilat also admitted that, to facilitate those purchases, he certified to the gun dealers from which he bought the guns that he was the actual buyer of the guns even though the actual buyers were the members of the Presidential Guard. Sumilat further admitted that he then shipped the guns to a co-conspirator, Feky R. Sumual, in New Hampshire who delivered them and other firearms to members and representatives of members of the Presidential Guard, who were in the U.S. on official state visits both in Washington, D.C., and with the U.N. General Assembly in New York, N.Y. Finally, Sumilat acknowledged that, he understood that the members of the Presidential Guard then would smuggle the illegally purchased guns from the U.S. to Indonesia. Lawfully exporting the guns – which were included as defense articles on the U.S. Munitions List – required both an exporter’s license and a license covering the specific guns exported. No such licenses had been issued.
United States Attorney Emily Gray Rice commented, “The consequences of international gun trafficking can be grave. Firearms exported overseas illegally can easily end up in the wrong hands. International gun trafficking will be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible to protect innocent individuals, both American and foreign, from the criminal use of U.S. weapons abroad.” United States Attorney Rice added, “The fact that members of another country’s security force were the immediate beneficiaries of this scheme presented some unique challenges to this investigation. I am grateful for the incredibly valuable work of our law enforcement partners in detecting this scheme and in developing the evidence needed to shut it down.”
Lawrence Panetta, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms stated, “Straw purchasing of firearms is one of the ways firearms are trafficked from legal to illegal commerce. With its federal, state and local law enforcement partners, ATF will continue to pursue and arrest anyone who commits this criminal act; where firearms are surreptitiously purchased, possessed and unlawfully transferred into the hands of those wanting to commit more crime.”
Sumilat will be sentenced on October 11, 2016. He faces a maximum sentence of five years and a fine of $250,000. One of Sumilat’s co-conspirators, Feky R. Sumual, also has been charged and is presently scheduled for trial on July 19, 2016.
This matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in both Manchester, N.H., and in El Paso, Texas, as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, in Manchester, N.H. The Bureau of Diplomatic Security of the U.S. Department of State, the Dover (N.H.) Police Department and the Indonesian National Police provided important support. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Bill Morse.