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Sterling man pleads guilty to exporting firearms in toys

By: Terry Oparka | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published October 18, 2019

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STERLING HEIGHTS — A Sterling Heights man has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of exporting firearm parts inside toy motorcycles to Australia without a license.

Rrok Martin Camaj, 34, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Terrence G. Berg Oct. 10.

According to court records, Camaj is a felon with three convictions: delivery and manufacture of marijuana in 2009, attempted first-degree home invasion in 2004, and malicious destruction of property between $1,000 and $20,000 in 2004.

His attorney could not be reached for comment by press time.

According to a press release, from March 2018 through January 2019, Camaj sent firearm parts — including pistol frames, firing pins, springs, ejectors and magazines — through the mail to people in Australia, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the world. The parts were thereafter assembled into operable firearms in Australia, where black market handguns reportedly cost more than $15,000 on the street. To lawfully ship firearms and certain firearm parts — including those sent by Camaj — an individual or business must be licensed. Camaj was not licensed.

According to the press release, to avoid detection by law enforcement officers, Camaj hid the firearms parts inside large motorized toy motorcycles.

“Investigating international arms trafficking is a priority for Homeland Security Investigations,” Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations Detroit Vance Callender said in a prepared statement. “HSI stands vigilant to deny transnational criminal organizations the ability to use arms to promote criminal activity overseas. I salute the AFP (Australian Federal Police) for their partnership with us in the investigation. HSI will continue to work with our foreign and domestic law enforcement partners to fight international arms smuggling and ensure the integrity of our borders.”

AFP Detective Superintendent Andrew Bailey thanked the AFP’s Homeland Security Investigations partners and emphasized how vital international law enforcement cooperation continues to be to Australian operational policing success.

“Attempting to import items like these will always attract a swift and comprehensive response from law enforcement,” Bailey said in a prepared statement. “We do not want unregulated and unchecked items possibly making their way to criminal groups, which then has far-reaching consequences for the safety of the community,” stated Bailey. “There is now no chance that these weapons will end up on the streets in the hands of criminals. The AFP and our partners will continue to work together with our international colleagues to stop these items (from) entering our community. This is an example of cooperative policing with a positive outcome for everyone.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin M. Mulcahy, of the Eastern District of Michigan, prosecuted the case. Agents from the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations division investigated the case.

Camaj’s sentencing is set for Feb. 20, 2020.