Jury Finds US Army Major Guilty of Attempting to Smuggle Guns to Ghana

Ryan Morgan
By Ryan Morgan
April 30, 2024US News
Jury Finds US Army Major Guilty of Attempting to Smuggle Guns to Ghana
A suspicious barrel seized by the Ghana Revenue Authority. (Ghana Revenue Service photo, released by the U.S. Department of Justice)

A federal jury has found a U.S. Army major guilty of smuggling weapons to the West African country of Ghana.

The jury, seated to hear the case in North Carolina’s Eastern District Court, concluded Maj. Kojo Owusu Dartey, 42, is guilty of dealing firearms without a license, delivering firearms without notice to the carrier, smuggling goods from the United States, illegally exporting firearms without a license, making false statements to an agency of the United States, making false declarations before a court, and conspiracy.

According to federal prosecutors, Mag. Dartey had purchased seven firearms and firearms accessories while stationed at Fort Liberty (Formerly known as Fort Bragg) in North Carolina between June 28 and July 2, 2021. Prosecutors alleged Mag. Dartey also arranged for George Archer, an Army staff sergeant stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to purchase three additional firearms and transfer them to him.

Among the firearms and accessories Mag. Dartey acquired were multiple handguns, an AR15, a shotgun, multiple 50-round drum magazines, and suppressors.

After obtaining the firearms and accessories, federal prosecutors say Mag. Dartey packed the items into blue barrels under rice and household goods and sent them to the Ghanian port of Tema on a ship that departed from the Port of Baltimore, Maryland.

The Ghana Revenue Authority discovered and seized the firearms before subsequently notifying the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) attache in Ghana and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division. Authorities seized five Glock 19 Gen5 9mm pistols, a Springfield Armory XD9 9mm pistol, a Springfield Armory XD40 40 cal. pistol, a Taurus 856 .38 Special Revolver, a Radikal Arms NK-1 shotgun, and a Tactical Machining TM-15, an AR-15 pattern rifle chambered in 223 cal.

NTD Photo
A suspicious barrel seized by the Ghana Revenue Authority. (Ghana Revenue Service photo, released by the U.S. Department of Justice)

“Far from being a victimless crime, firearms trafficking threatens public safety across our nation and beyond,” Toni M. Crosby, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Baltimore Field Division, said Monday. “The Baltimore Field Division is proud to partner with the Ghana Revenue Authority and ATF’s Charlotte and Louisville Field Divisions for this investigation, which has kept firearms off the streets—preventing them from being used in any number of killings and other crimes—and ended this international firearm trafficking scheme.”

The criminal counts against Mag. Dartey were laid out in a May 2023 indictment, but the court filing did not specify what motives he may have had for smuggling firearms and accessories to Ghana.

The indictment did indicate Mag. Dartey went by the nickname “Killa K.”

Some Charges Stem From Separate Marriage Fraud Case

While most of Mag. Dartey’s convictions stem from his apparent efforts to obtain and smuggle guns to Ghana, some of the charges were also connected to a separate federal case involving an alleged marriage fraud scheme involving U.S. Army personnel and a Ghanian national.

Prosecutors had relied on Mag. Dartey as a witness in their case against Samuel Manu Agyapong, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Ghana, serving in the U.S. Army’s 2nd SFAB (Security Force Assistance Brigade). Mr. Agyapong was accused of arranging a sham marriage in 2015 with Barbara Oppong, a citizen of Ghana who was unlawfully present in the United States.

Ms. Oppong stood to gain a lawful permanent resident card, also known as a green card, from the sham marriage arrangement, while Mr. Agyapong would have received an enhanced Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) from the Army for being able to list Ms. Oppong as a dependent.

Mr. Agyapong was convicted in July 2021 and sentenced in February 2022 to 18 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release and ordered to pay $110,948.29 in restitution to the Army.

In his own case, prosecutors alleged Mag. Dartey lied to federal law enforcement about his sexual relationship with a defense witness in U.S. v Agyapong and lied again on the stand and under oath about their relationship.

With the convictions, Mag. Dartey faces a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison and is due to be sentenced on July 30.

NTD News reached out to an attorney who represented Mag. Dartey in the case, but he declined to comment on the matter following the verdict.

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