Suburban Man Sentenced in Egypt Gun Smuggling Scheme

Federal court records

A south suburban man has been sentenced to a year and a half in prison for buying guns for a woman as part of a 2013 scheme to smuggle them into Egypt.

Omran Ismail, 53, of Burbank, bought four 9 mm handguns from a Tinley Park dealer on Nov. 18, 2013, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.

A federal jury convicted him in May of one count of conspiracy to knowingly make a false statement to a licensed gun dealer and knowingly smuggle firearms on a common carrier and one count of acquiring a firearm by making a false statement, prosecutors said.

U.S. District Judge Sara L. Ellis sentenced him Tuesday to 18 months in federal prison, prosecutors said.

Ismail brought 47-year-old Ola Sayed of Palos Park the store with him and told the dealer she was his wife, prosecutors said. Ismail bought the guns and filled out a form certifying that he was the actual buyer, and confirmed the statements on those forms when he picked the guns up five days later.

He then gave those guns to Sayed so she could bring them to Egypt, according to prosecutors. Sayed later bought two more 9 mm guns and had all six with her when she went to O’Hare International Airport on Dec. 23, 2013.

The guns were found in Sayed’s checked baggage when she tried to board a flight to Cairo via London, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Sayed was also charged in the conspiracy, prosecutors said. She was free on bond when she failed to appear in court in June 2016 and has been considered a fugitive ever since.

The maximum punishment for the conspiracy count against Ismail is five years in prison, while the straw purchasing charge is punishable by up to 10 years, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

U.S. District Judge Sara L. Ellis set his sentencing hearing for Dec. 3.

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