A 20-year-old Palestinian allegedly staying illegally in the U.S. was indicted on a federal firearms charge by a grand jury Thursday, according to a Friday release by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani of the Southern District of Texas announced that a grand jury indicted Sohaib Abuayyash on charges of illegally possessing a firearm, according to a Friday release. Abauyyash had the firearm despite being in the country illegally, violating 18 USC 922(g)(5)(A), according to a copy of the indictment obtained by the conservative blog Legal Insurrection.

 

Abuayyash allegedly was in possession of a Canik TP9 Elite Subcompact nine-millimeter pistol, according to the release and indictment. The Turkish-made semi-automatic pistol can use a 12-round or 15-round magazine, according to the Canik website.

The criminal complaint filed by federal prosecutors featured screenshots of social media posts by Abuayyash with various firearms at shooting ranges, ABC 13 Houston reported.

Abuayyash entered the United States in 2019 after previously visiting on a tourist visa in 2016, applying for asylum in 2020, Fox 26 Houston reported. He was granted a work permit by the Biden administration in August, Fox News national correspondent Bill Melugin posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

If convicted, Abuayyash could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison and face fines of up to $250,000. He is considered innocent until proven guilty.

Harold Hutchison on November 3, 2023

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