Four Iowans Busted in Gun-Smuggling Plot

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KWWL – Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Thanks to a scrupulous gun dealer who tipped off authorities, four individuals from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, are being investigated for an apparent plot to smuggle $100,000 worth of firearms illegally into Lebanon.

Federal agents busted Bassem Afif Herz, Ali Afif Al Herz, Sarah Majid Zeaiter and Adam Ben Ali Al Herz this month and on Tuesday all four appeared in court, facing charges for conspiracy to deliver “a package to a common carrier without providing written notice that firearms and ammunition are contained therein.”

Should they be found guilty, they can be sentenced up to five years in prison, along with three years of supervised release and forced to pay a $250,000 fine.

A licensed firearms dealer contacted authorities when he witnessed the four suspects buying a large cache of guns and ammunition over a period of about 17 months.

In total, the crew purchased 113 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition, and on several occasions bought all the 5.7 mm ammo the dealer had in stock. The haul was valued at over $100,000.

To ship the guns and ammo overseas, the suspects were loading the supplies in Bobcat skid loaders from the Midamar Corporation and concealing them in “Pizza Daddy” plastic bags. Authorities also noticed that there were other shipments to Lebanon that included “water equipment,” “a bulldozer,” “front-end loader” and an “SUV.”

The obvious question is to whom the guns were ultimately being sent to. Were they destined for radicals, terrorists, government separatists? The answer to that question is not yet clear.

For more on this story, check out KWWL.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Loki May 19, 2015, 1:35 pm

    I thought that was the ATF’s job!!!!!!! Or are trying to get a resume together to apply for jobs there?

  • Danny May 18, 2015, 6:50 pm

    Afif Herz, Ali Afif Al Herz, Sarah Majid Zeaiter and Adam Ben Ali Al Herz, these are
    Iowans? I thought Iowans were MacDonald, Thompson, Kennedy and Olson! Get ready to be a stranger in your own land!

  • Joe Bob May 18, 2015, 8:25 am

    Is anyone else sitting here wondering wtf a gun dealer would call ATF based solely on someone buying lots of guns and ammunition?

    And does Lebanon really have a shortage of guns?

    Seems hokey.

  • WilliamDahl May 18, 2015, 6:35 am

    Although I don’t particularly agree with what I assume their intentions might have been, I think that what they did was completely legal since the “laws” that they are accused of violating are blatantly unconstitutional in that they violate the “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” clause of the 2nd Amendment. All gun laws that came after the 2nd Amendment are unconstitutional. This includes the NFA of 1934 and GCA of 1968. Would the actions of these individuals have been illegal during the times of the Founding Fathers? Nope…. As such, you *know* what their intentions were when they said “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”.

  • Red-blooded American May 18, 2015, 4:43 am

    This is what you get from the UN/US government “Refugee relocation program” that imports tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of people that dislike or at the very least disrespect Americans and hides them all over rural America…

  • DRAINO May 15, 2015, 8:25 pm

    Don’t these idiots know we will need those guns and ammo right here in the US soon enough? Whether to defend ourselves from the zombies, or from a rogue government, or maybe even ISIS….we need our guns and ammo here! What kinda crazy people ships that kinda stuff to the middle east?….Oh, that’s right, the US Government does…Lol! And, Yes, I’ll say it! IOWANS…????? with names like that? You all are thinking it too……don’t deny it! And Phooey on you if you think its racist. Its reality…deal with it. I’m a realist…not a racist.

  • Pro2Aguy May 14, 2015, 10:41 am

    Wow–these “guys” are obviously “intellectually challenged…” Trying to equip their “middle-eastern friends” with the means to achieve “their objectives” by leaving a lengthy paper-trail is almost comical (if it weren’t so potentially devastating)…

  • Jay May 13, 2015, 3:00 pm

    That was silly of them, they should know to use the established arms black market to procure such things… Never buy retail! This is what supporting your LGS gets ya..ugh!!

  • John May 13, 2015, 12:49 pm

    When the Obama/Holder crew shipped guns to Mexico , no one was charged. I’m guessing , these people won’t be either. Shipping guns to Lebanon should be considered support of terrorism. 5 years in jail ,if they are ever changed, hardly seems like much punishment for the crime. We, the law abiding gun owner , are the ones who will suffer for this. Our government will take more of our rights instead of the criminals.

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