Ghanaian US Army Major convicted for smuggling guns to Ghana in barrels of rice and home goods

A federal jury has found US Army Major Kojo Owusu Dartey, who is presently stationed at Fort Liberty, guilty of several counts of illegal firearm dealing, firearm delivery without notification to the carrier, smuggling of goods out of the country, and illegal firearm exportation.

In addition, he was accused of conspiring, making false declarations in court, and lying to a US government agency. When Owusu Dartey, 42, is sentenced on July 23, 2024, he might receive a maximum term of 240 months.

The guns were smuggled into Ghana and hidden within blue barrels of rice and household supplies.

“We are partnering with law enforcement agencies across the globe to expose international criminals – from money launderers to rogue international arms traffickers capable of fueling violence abroad,” said U.S Attorney Michael Easley.

“Through a partnership with Ghanaian officials, this rogue Army Major was convicted at trial after smuggling guns to Ghana in blue barrels of rice and household goods.

“I want to thank the Ghana Revenue Authority and the International Cooperation Unit Office of the Attorney-General of Ghana for their assistance in the investigation. I also commend the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) attachés to U.S. Embassy Accra and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs of the Department’s Criminal Division for their significant assistance to this prosecution.”

“Far from being a victimless crime, firearms trafficking threatens public safety across our nation and beyond,” said Toni M. Crosby, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Baltimore Field Division. “The Baltimore Field Division is proud to partner with the Ghana Revenue Authority and ATF’s Charlotte and Louisville Field Divisions for this investigation, which has kept firearms off the streets — preventing them from being used in any number of killings and other crimes — and ended this international firearm trafficking scheme.”

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, between June 28 and July 2, 2021, Dartey purchased seven firearms in the Fort Liberty area and tasked a U.S. Army Staff Sergeant at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to purchase three firearms there and send them to Dartey in North Carolina.

Dartey then hid all the firearms, including multiple handguns, an AR15, 50-round magazines, suppressors, and a combat shotgun inside blue barrels underneath rice and household goods and smuggled the barrels out of the Port of Baltimore, Maryland, on a container ship to the Port of Tema in Ghana.

The Ghana Revenue Authority recovered the firearms and reported the seizure to the DEA attaché in Ghana and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division. At the same time, Dartey was a witness in the trial of U.S. v. Agyapong.

A case that involved a 16-defendant marriage fraud scheme between soldiers on Fort Liberty and foreign nationals from Ghana that Dartey had tipped off officials to. In preparation for the trial, Dartey lied to federal law enforcement about his sexual relationship with a defence witness and lied on the stand and under oath about the relationship.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announced after Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II accepted the verdict.

The ATF, Army Criminal Investigation Division and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Export Enforcement investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gabriel J. Diaz prosecuted it with technical assistance from David Ryan, DOJ Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.

Akosua Boatemaa

I'm Yours Truly, Blogger Akosua Boatemaa. I'm here to feed Your eyes and Ears with Authentic News Updates.

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