Ifrah Secures Release for International Client Jailed for Alleged Arms Control Violations
When an international businessman was taken into custody at the U.S.-Canada border and jailed for four months without bail, the Ifrah team was brought in to challenge the government.
A businessman from a prominent political family in Pakistan was indicted for violations of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), statutes traditionally used against professional exporters seeking to evade licensing requirements so the government does not detect their efforts to sell state secrets or military-grade weaponry to parties and governments with anti-U.S. sentiments. He was also charged with making false statements about his intended use for legally purchased firearm accessories because he was not only an avid hunter but a licensed firearms retailer in his home country. Ifrah Law attorneys quickly filed a number of ground-breaking motions on our client’s behalf. One of the motions also sought bail for the client based on the weakness of the government’s case and notwithstanding the existence of an ICE detainer, a status which usually eliminates the possibility of release.
The Court expressed concern about the government’s ability to meet its burden of proof, and strong displeasure with the government’s case: “(T)he older I get,… the more distressed I am about the inability of government authorities to exercise common sense and practicality…. (W)e’re all in this together under one of the most sacred documents in our whole concept of jurisprudence, the Constitution of the United States, to treat people fairly and justly, not to win at any cost or put the screws to somebody so we can put the screws to them.”
After the defense investigation uncovered that U.S. law enforcement had destroyed physical evidence, the Court granted bail and ultimately the U.S. Attorney agreed to dismiss the IEEPA and AECA charges. Our client chose to plead guilty to the false statement charge and a sentence of time served in order to go home immediately. He had been in jail and away from his family for nine months, during which time he missed the birth of his first child.
Well-crafted motions and aggressive investigation led to the extremely rare circumstance of a foreign citizen charged with weapons violations being released from pretrial detention, and the ultimate dismissal of the more substantial felonies in the case.
(United States v. Durrani, No. 1:17-cr-00024 (W.D.N.Y))