Oklahoma man gets over 3 years for smuggling guns to UAE

OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma man was sentenced to more than three years in prison for illegally smuggling firearms to the Middle East to help fight the Islamic State there, according to federal prosecutors.

Randy Lew Williams, 57, pleaded guilty last year to violating the Arms Export Control Act, making a false statement to a firearms dealer and possession of an unregistered firearm. His sentence handed down Wednesday also includes two years of supervised release on each count after his prison time ends, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Court records show that United Arab Emirates authorities confiscated a package on Dec. 19, 2018, that contained pistols and firearms parts, the release said. Shipment records showed that Williams, of Edmond, Oklahoma, sent the package from Oklahoma City to an address in Iraq.

Williams spent some time in Iraq in 2015, his attorney, Julia Summers, told the judge in a sentencing memo. He also agreed to send guns after fighting with the Kurdish Peshmerga against the Islamic State, The Oklahoman reported.

“The atrocities I saw were horrible,” he said at his sentencing in Oklahoma City federal court. “I wish I had said, ‘No,’ but I didn’t. I felt obligated to help them out.”

Williams was arrested last March and has been in custody since then.

“We have to respect and abide by the rule of law in this country,” said U.S. District Judge Jodi Dishman, who sentenced Williams. “You, however, took the law into your own hands.”