CEDAR RAPIDS – Fadi Yassine, age 42, a Lebanese citizen, was sentenced in United States District Court in Cedar Rapids today on one count of conspiracy to broker firearms shipments to Lebanon, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act.
Yassine was arrested on a warrant issued in the Northern District of Iowa on about February 5, 2017, in New York City, as he entered the United States from Lebanon. On April 12, 2017, Yassine entered a plea of guilty to the conspiracy count and admitted he brokered the shipment of firearms to Lebanon in violation of law.
United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade sentenced Yassine today to serve 57 months’ imprisonment. In sentencing Yassine, Judge Reade cited a litany of aggravating factors including the fact that the firearms were being trafficked into a part of the world controlled by Hezbollah, a designated terrorist organization, and to a member of Hezbollah.
Yassine admitted he conspired with others in 2014, including Ali Al Herz and Bassem Herz, to broker the shipment of guns to Lebanon for resale there. As shown in prior court hearings, firearms intended for Lebanon were shipped from Cedar Rapids on about four occasions during 2014 and 2015. The Herzes, along with Adam Herz, and Sarah Zeaiter were convicted and sentenced in connection with the gun scheme in 2016.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Richard L. Murphy and was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Yassine will likely be deported to Lebanon upon the completion of service of his sentence to imprisonment.