US court jails American for smuggling Glock pistols and parts into the UAE

Randy Lew Williams, a former volunteer fighter in Iraq, was trying to direct weapons to Kurdish Peshmerga units fighting ISIS

An American who attempted to smuggle firearms to Iraq via the UAE was sentenced to three years in a US prison.

In 2018, Randy Lew Williams sent a package containing multiple unlicensed Glock pistols and firearms parts to the Emirates.

The package was addressed to the city of Sulaymaniyah, in the Kurdish region of Iraq, and was sent with the intention of helping Kurdish fighters battling ISIS, the court heard.

"On June 1, 2020, Williams was charged with violating the Arms Export Control Act, making a false statement to a firearms dealer and possession of an unregistered firearm," the US Attorney Office in the Western District of Oklahoma, said on Wednesday.

"According to court records, the FBI Legal Attache in Abu Dhabi notified the FBI Oklahoma City Field Division that a FedEx shipment had been seized by UAE authorities in Dubai."

Williams spent time in Iraq in 2015, according to his lawyer, and had agreed to send guns after fighting with the Kurdish Peshmerga against ISIS, The Oklahoman reported.

It was not stated in court how the weapons and weapons parts would have been sent from UAE to Iraq.

Williams did not have a US firearms licence. He was arrested in March of last year in the US and pleaded guilty three months later to all three charges against him.

“The atrocities I saw were horrible,” he said at his sentencing in Oklahoma City federal court.

“I wish I had said, ‘No,’ but I didn’t. I felt obligated to help them out.”

He will serve 40 months in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release on each count when his prison term ends.

“We have to respect and abide by the rule of law in this country,” said US District Judge Jodi Dishman, who sentenced Williams.

“You, however, took the law into your own hands.”

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