Foreign national charged with firearms violation
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
HOUSTON – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment against a 20-year-old Palestinian citizen for possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
The charges allege Sohaib Abuayyash was an alien illegally and unlawfully in the United States. He knowingly possessed a firearm, namely a Canik, model TP9 Elite SC, 9 mm pistol, according to the indictment.
The FBI arrested Abuayyash Oct. 19 who remains detained pending further criminal proceedings. He is set to appear for his arraignment Nov. 13 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Yvonne Ho in Houston at 2 p.m.
According to the criminal complaint filed upon his arrest, Abuayyash entered the United States on a nonimmigrant visa, which expired in 2019, and has allegedly been in direct contact with others who share a radical mindset. The charges further allege he has been conducting physical training and has trained with weapons to possibly commit an attack.
If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in federal prison as well as a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
The FBI is conducting the investigation.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.
Updated November 3, 2023