A Syrian national living near Indianapolis, Indiana, allegedly confronted agents from Homeland Security Investigations with a handgun he is not legally entitled to possess. The Syrian man also had an AR-15 style rifle in his home.
A federal grand jury indicted 24-year-old Majid Al Helwani, a Syrian national living in the U.S. on a non-immigrant tourist visa, on charges of unlawfully purchasing and possessing firearms and lying on federal forms while attempting to purchase additional weapons, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.
The indictment states that agents from ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) learned from a “concerned citizen” in December 2017 that Al Helwani had at least one firearm in his possession. The tipster claimed the foreign national had an AR-15 style, .223 caliber rifle.
The investigation uncovered Al Helwani’s immigration status as a non-immigrant tourist. This status prohibits the foreign national from owning, purchasing, or possessing a firearm. The agents obtained a search warrant and went to the Syrian’s home in an Indianapolis suburb.
When the agents approached his home, Al Helwani opened the door with a loaded 9mm pistol. A search of the home also uncovered a Sabal Arms .223 caliber rifle. The agents seized the weapons.
A further investigation revealed that Al Helwani attempted to purchase a shotgun from a gun store located in Indianapolis, officials stated. The attempted purchase allegedly occurred in October 2016. The indictment claims that Al Helwani falsely represented on the ATF form 4473 required for purchasing a firearm that he “had not been admitted into the U.S. as a non-immigrant tourist” the indictment stated.
A qualifying question on the 4473 form asks, “Are you an alien who has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa?”
“Aggressively prosecuting individuals who are not lawfully permitted to purchase or possess firearms is a cornerstone of a safe society,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indian Josh Minkler said in a written statement. “We are grateful to the collaborative partners who brought this to our attention and encourage all citizens to adhere to the campaign: If you see something, say something.”
Al Helwani faces up to 10 years in federal prison if he is convicted on the four felony counts.