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Monday, September 29, 2014

Two Indicted for Alleged Conspiracy to Sell Weapons Supposedly Owned by Family of Saddam Hussein



NEWARK, N.J. B A federal grand jury in Newark returned an indictment today charging two men with conspiring to sell seven firearms in New Jersey believed to have been stolen and smuggled out of Iraq after once belonging to the family of Saddam Hussein, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

David Phillip Ryan, 50, of Miami, Florida, and Carlos Quirola-Ordonez, a/k/a "Julio Antonio Gonzalez," a/k/a "Manny," 57, of New Milford, New Jersey, are each charged with one count of conspiring to transport stolen firearms. Ryan is also charged with one count of transporting stolen property in interstate commerce.

According to the indictment and other documents filed in Newark federal court:

In April 2012, law enforcement received information that valuable firearms allegedly belonging to members of the family of the late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein were available for sale. The weapons were kept in Florida while attempts were made by Ryan, Quirola-Ordonez and others to find buyers in New Jersey. During the course of the conspiracy, seven firearms – which were appraised as a collection to be worth between $250,000 to $350,000 – were shipped to New Jersey for viewing by potential buyers.

Federal law enforcement officers seized the following firearms in the course of the investigation:

    One Coonan Arms Inc., .357 semi-automatic pistol, nickel finish, made in St. Paul, Minn., with gold inlay and a medallion "QS" on left side grip (believed to be the initials of Qusay Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti, the second son of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein);
    One Korth, .357 magnum revolver (six shot) stamped "Made in W. Germany Waffenfabrik Koth Ratzeburg/LBG," with gold inlay, black finish, wood grips, which displays a drawing of a wild boar;
    One Korth, .357 magnum, revolver (six shot) stamped "Made in W. Germany Waffenfabrik Koth Ratzeburg/LBG," with gold inlay, black finish, wood grips, which displays a drawing of a moose;
    One Chinese State Factories type 64 pistol, .32 caliber semi-auto pistol, black finish, with Yemen flag icon on both sides of grip and Arabic writing on the slide;
    Two Cosmi, 12 gauge shotguns, break top, single barrel;
    One Llama Semiautomatic .45 ACP pistol with gold leaf and gold inlays, hand engraved, bearing the initials "QS"

The conspiracy count carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The unlawful transportation of stolen property in interstate commerce count with which Ryan is also charged carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Four men, including Ryan and Quirola-Ordonez, were originally charged by complaint with related offenses. The two other individuals, Howard Blumenthal and Karlo Sauer, have pleaded guilty to their roles in this conspiracy and await sentencing.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of George P. Belsky; and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Andrew M. McLees, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Joyce M. Malliet of the U.S. Attorney’s Office National Security Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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