A US court has sentenced a Bosnian man to over seven years in prison for sending gun parts overseas, including to clients involved with a Swedish neo-Nazi group. The man labeled the items as bicycle parts.
A Bosnian man built a "lucrative business" in the US by selling and illegally shipping gun parts to Sweden, Russia, France and Brazil, according to a press release published by US prosecutors on Monday.
A court based in the US state of Washington sentenced Hany V., a legal US resident, to over seven years in jail.
The defendant said his buyers included a Swedish "neo-Nazi group."
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Arrested with a stolen pistol
The case against the 36-year-old started in 2017, when Swedish law enforcement seized a part of a Glock firearm from a Swedish home. While the serial number had been filed off, the manufacturer was still able to trace it to a person in the Seattle area, who claimed to have sold the weapon to Hany V.
The defendant learned that Homeland Security was interested in the firearm and contacted the agency himself in May 2017. He volunteered information on his gun selling business, which was partly conducted on eBay. Although agents spoke to him several times, he was only arrested a year after making contact.
"This defendant repeatedly lied to law enforcement," US Attorney Brian T. Moran said.
At the time of his arrest, the Bosnian national was carrying a stolen Ruger pistol with an obliterated serial number.
Labeled as bicycle parts
US prosecutors said he used fake names and labeled the weapons packages as bicycle parts before shipping them. As many as 20 of the shipments ended up in Sweden, with more packages sent to other countries outside the US.
Swedish law enforcement agents subsequently confirmed that some of his customers were tied to a neo-Nazi group, according to the AP news agency.
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The Washington court found him guilty after a two-day trial in 2019. While awaiting sentencing in jail, however, Hany V. allegedly conspired to harm a witness against him. According to the prosecutors, he contacted a person he believed to be a gang member and tried to make a deal with the gang to harm the witness. In reality, he was communicating with an undercover police officer. The man denies trying to organize this attack.
Editor's note: Deutsche Welle follows the German press code, which stresses the importance of protecting the privacy of suspected criminals or victims and obliges us to refrain from revealing full names in such cases.