Crime & Courts

Charlotte man pleads guilty Tuesday to African gun-smuggling ring

Richmond Attah pleaded guilty Tuesday to smuggling for his role in shipping guns to Africa
Richmond Attah pleaded guilty Tuesday to smuggling for his role in shipping guns to Africa Mecklenburg Sheriff’s Department

A Charlotte man pleaded guilty Tuesday to smuggling guns and ammunition to the African country of Ghana.

Richmond Akoto Attah, 34, will be sentenced at a future date in federal court. A nine-count indictment in February charged him with a series of firearms charges and false statements.

Under an agreement with prosecutors, Attah was allowed to plead guilty to one count of smuggling. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Starting in 2013, Attah illegally purchased dozens of firearms that he sold during trips to Ghana in West Africa. Over a two-year period, investigators say he acquired more than 63 firearms and 3,500 rounds of ammunition from stores, internet vendors and at gun shows.

On a return flight to Charlotte, Attah hid more than $30,000 in his luggage, which he failed to report to customs agents.

Over a six-week period beginning last November, Attah hid more than two dozen weapons in a washing machine and dryer and the rounds of ammunition in a barrel, which he wanted shipped to Ghana. According to the indictment, U.S. Customs officials stopped the shipment in Savannah, Ga., before it left the country.

The seized weapons included more than two dozen semi-automatic pistols, the indictment says.

Attah pleaded guilty to U.S. Magistrate Judge David Cayer.

Michael Gordon: 704-358-5095, @MikeGordonOBS

  Comments