A male offender from Burbank, Illinois was sentenced on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 to a year and a half in federal prison for conspiring to straw purchase handguns on behalf of a woman who allegedly tried to smuggle the firearms into Egypt. The woman, Ola Sayed, is a fugitive.
Omran Ismail purchased four handguns in November 2013 from a licensed firearms dealer in Tinley Park, and then immediately transferred the guns to co-defendant Ola Sayed so that Sayed could bring them to Egypt. The guns were discovered in Sayed’s checked luggage at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago as she attempted to board a flight to Cairo, via London.
A federal jury in Chicago earlier this year convicted Ismail, 53, of Burbank, of both firearm counts against him. U.S. District Judge Sara L. Ellis imposed the 18-month sentence after a hearing in federal court.
Sayed, of Palos Park, was charged in the conspiracy but fled and is considered a fugitive.
Ismail’s sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and James M. Gibbons, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. Valuable assistance was provided by the Chicago Police Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“Unlawfully purchasing and transferring firearms is an incredibly serious offense,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Abigail L. Peluso and Katie M. Durick argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “Ismail’s conduct was deliberate and reckless, and it could have resulted in additional unlawful activity had the guns been successfully smuggled to Egypt.”
According to evidence presented at Ismail’s trial, Ismail purchased four 9mm firearms from the dealer on Nov. 18, 2013. When he purchased the firearms, Ismail completed a federal form falsely certifying that he was the actual buyer. Ismail picked up the guns from the dealer five days later, at which time he confirmed that all of his answers on the form were “still true, correct, and complete.” Ismail then immediately transferred all four firearms to Sayed, so that Sayed could take the firearms with her to Egypt.
Sayed purchased two other 9mm firearms, and then took all six guns with her to O’Hare Airport on Dec. 23, 2013, according to the charges pending against her. Authorities at the airport discovered the guns in Sayed’s checked luggage as she waited to board her flight, the charges against Sayed allege.
On Wednesday, December 4, 2019, an image of suspect Ola Sayed was not available on the FBI website or the INTERPOL website.
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