Pakastani Man Indicted For Making False Statements Regarding Assault Rifle Accessories
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
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BUFFALO, N.Y.–Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Agha Muhammad Khan Durrani, 27, of Pakistan, with violation of the Arms Export Control Act, violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and with making false statements during an attempt unlawfully to export merchandise consisting of weapons parts. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who is handling the case, stated that according to the indictment and previously filed complaint, on July 19, 2016, the defendant and his father, after unsuccessfully attempting to bring assault rifle accessories into Canada, were escorted by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Rainbow Bridge. Durrani told a CBP officer that he and his father were going to Cabela’s Sporting Goods in Cheektowaga, NY to return the accessories and a scope purchased on July 18, 2016.
The items specifically consisted of the following:
• Assault rifle rail systems
• Assault rifle grips
• Assault rifle mounting system
• Assault rifle buffer system
• Assault rifle stocks
• Assault rifle hand guards
• Assault rifle back up lights
Such items are included on the United States Munitions List and require a license to export. Durrani did not have such a license.
During a secondary inspection, the defendant told a CBP officer he wanted to bring the assault rifle accessories back to Pakistan to be used for hunting and defending his family’s property and land.
Subsequent investigation determined that Durrani’s cellular telephone included photographs of multiple variants of assault rifles and hand guns and rifle components and accessories. There was also a photograph of a Nightforce BEAST 5-25x56mm F1 Riflescope on Amazon.com with the message, “This item does not ship to Canada. Please check other sellers who may ship internationally.”
A check of the defendant’s email showed a series of messages with another individual dated July 14, 2016. This email chain showed that Durrani had a shipment of similar weapons accessories ready to be picked up in Thailand with a value of $10,800. In the email the defendant responded that he was currently in Canada and that he would have to pick his shipment up at a later date and time.
While Durrani initially told CBP officers the weapon parts would only be used for personal use, the defendant later admitted that he sells guns, gun parts, ammo, and accessories in Pakistan through a business that he owns there.
The defendant was arraigned this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroder and ordered detained.
The indictment is the culmination of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-in- Charge Kevin Kelly and Customs and Border Protection, under the direction of Director of Field Operations Rose Hilmey.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.