Gun smuggling charge brings prison term, fine

From staff reportsJuly 21, 2011 

— A Fayetteville man was sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined $4,000 for attempting to smuggle three pistols from North Carolina into Kosovo.

Ramadan Rama, 40, pleaded guilty in March to failure to notify a common carrier of a firearm and exporting defense articles without a license, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. A federal judge sentenced Rama today.

According to the criminal complaint against him, on March 16, 2010, Rama arrived in Pristina, Kosovo, after flying from Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Customs officials in Kosovo found two disassembled semiautomatic pistols in his checked luggage. They had been wrapped in aluminum foil in an apparent effort to avoid detection.

Also, the complaint said, while he was again en route from RDU to Kosovo on Sept. 22, customs officers in Austria found another disassembled handgun during a layover there. It was hidden in the lining of a leather bag packed in his checked luggage.

A federal grand jury returned a criminal indictment on Dec. 14. Rama faced up to five years in prison for failing to notify a common carrier of a firearm and up to 20 years for the other charge.

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