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U.S Army Major Kojo Owusu Dartey Found Guilty for Smuggling Guns to Ghana in Blue Barrels of Home Goods

According to the US Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of North Carolina, Dartey faces a maximum penalty of 240 months. His sentence has been scheduled for July 23, 2024.

A United States federal grand jury on Monday convicted an Army Major, Kojo Owusu Dartey, for smuggling guns in rice and home goods barrels to Ghana.

Dartey, 42, currently assigned to Fort Liberty, was convicted on charges of “dealing in firearms without a license, delivering firearms without notice to the carrier, smuggling goods from the United States, illegally exporting firearms without a license, making false statements made to an agency of the United States, making false declarations before the court, and conspiracy”.

To be sentenced on July 23, 2024, he faces a maximum penalty of 240 months in prison.

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“We are partnering with law enforcement agencies across the globe to expose international criminals – from money launderers to rogue international arms traffickers capable of fueling violence abroad,” U.S Attorney Michael Easley said.

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According to the US Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of North Carolina, Dartey purchased seven firearms in the Fort Liberty area and tasked another U.S. Army Staff Sergeant at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to purchase three firearms to be sent to him in North Carolina.

The barrel shipped by Kojo Owusu Dartey

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Dartey then hid all the firearms, including multiple handguns, an AR15, 50-round magazines, suppressors, and a combat shotgun inside blue barrels underneath rice and household goods and smuggled the barrels out of the Port of Baltimore, Maryland, on a container ship to the Tema Port in Ghana.

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However, upon arrival, the firearms were recovered by the Ghana Revenue Authority who reported the seizure to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) attaché in Ghana as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division.

Court reports say that Major Kojo Owusu Dartey was at the same time a witness in another trial of U.S. v. Agyapong. That case also involved a 16-defendant marriage fraud scheme between soldiers on Fort Liberty and foreign nationals from Ghana that he had tipped off officials to. In preparation for the trial, Dartey lied to federal law enforcement about his sexual relationship with a defense witness and lied on the stand and under oath about the relationship.

US Attorney Michael Easly thanked the Ghana Revenue Authority and the International Cooperation Unit Office of the Attorney-General of Ghana for their assistance in the investigation.

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