Attempted Illegal Export of Firearms and Night Vision Scopes: California Man Sentenced to Prison

In a significant case involving national security, an Oakland resident, Fares Abdo Al Eyani, has been sentenced to twelve months and one day in prison for his involvement in attempting to illegally export defense items. This article will delve into the details of the case, discussing the charges, the defendant’s actions, and the legal implications. We will explore the consequences of such attempts and the importance of enforcing export laws to safeguard public safety and national security.

The CaseBackground

In 2019, Fares Abdo Al Eyani acquired a substantial cache of defense items, including four firearms, 44 rifle scopes, magazine rounds, monoculars, and night vision goggles. With these items in his possession, Al Eyani devised a plan to export them to the Sultanate of Oman. His method involved concealing the firearms by disassembling them into their component parts, wrapping them individually in aluminum foil, and hiding them inside automobiles within shipping containers scheduled to leave from the Port of Oakland.

Law Enforcement Intervention

Fortunately, law enforcement officers intercepted the shipment before it could be exported. The items, including the firearms and accessories, were seized, effectively thwarting Al Eyani’s unlawful scheme. The intervention by law enforcement authorities highlights the crucial role they play in preventing the illicit proliferation of weapons and technology.

Legal Consequences

The Department of Justice prosecuted the case against Fares Abdo Al Eyani. In March 2024, he was sentenced to twelve months and one day in prison for conspiring to export defense items without the necessary licenses. Additionally, Al Eyani’s wife received a separate sentence of three years of probation for making false statements to the FBI during the investigation.

Significance and ImplicationsNational Security Threats

The attempted illegal export of firearms and night vision scopes to a foreign country poses significant risks to national security. Such actions have the potential to destabilize regions and fuel conflicts. The case involving Fares Abdo Al Eyani underscores the importance of preventing the unlawful trafficking of weapons overseas. The Justice Department’s commitment to holding individuals accountable for their involvement in such activities demonstrates their dedication to protecting public safety and national security.

Export Control Laws

The commercial export of defense items, including firearms and related accessories, from the United States is governed by the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and its accompanying regulations, the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations (ITAR). These laws grant the President the authority to control the export of defense articles critical to national security and foreign policy interests. The Department of State, through the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, is responsible for enforcing these regulations.

Registration and Licenses

To export items on the United States Munitions List (USML), individuals and entities must register with the Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) and obtain individual export licenses. The registration process ensures accountability and helps prevent the unauthorized export of defense items. The licensing requirement ensures that exports are conducted in compliance with international regulations and safeguard national security interests.

Preventing Proliferation of Weapons

The interception of the shipment in the case of Fares Abdo Al Eyani highlights the importance of effective border control measures and law enforcement collaboration. Preventing the illicit proliferation of weapons and technology is a shared responsibility among federal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Their collective efforts help safeguard public safety and maintain national security.


The attempted illegal export of firearms and night vision scopes by Fares Abdo Al Eyani underscores the grave risks posed by such activities to national security. The successful prosecution of this case sends a strong message that the unlawful trafficking of weapons overseas will not be tolerated. The collaboration between law enforcement agencies and the Department of Justice serves as a reminder of the importance of enforcing export control laws to protect public safety and maintain the stability of regions worldwide.

Team ProConsumer
Team ProConsumer

Access, Monitor and Predict Risks in Business using OSINT, Compliance Audits, Consumer and Employee Feedback

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