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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Hampshire

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Man Pleads Guilty To Using False Information To Obtain Firearms And Smuggling Firearms Out Of The United States

            CONCORD, N.H. – United States Attorney, Emily Gray Rice announced that Joel Tetteh, 53, appeared before United States District Court Chief Judge Joseph Laplante on September 6, 2016, and pleaded guilty 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.

            According to documents that were filed in United States District Court and statements in the plea proceeding, 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 the firearms to the defendant if 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 also admitted that he did not possess a license to export firearms.  The firearms that Tetteh purchased are defense articles that may not be exported without a license from the State Department. 

            This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Homeland Security Investigations.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John J. Farley.

            A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for December 15, 2016. 

Firearms Offenses
Updated September 7, 2016