GRAND RAPIDS (AP/WWJ) – A Grand Rapids, Michigan man charged with smuggling handguns to the Middle East has been released with an electronic monitor while the case unfolds in federal court.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Ellen Carmody also ordered Gilbert Elian to surrender his U.S. and Lebanese passports Thursday. With a few exceptions, he must stay at home.
The 54-year-old Elian was arrested last week after Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents say he bought and transported dozens of handguns overseas to Beirut, Lebanon since 2004 — mostly recently in March — for a total of 18 shipments.
According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court, Elian bought 93 handguns between January 2012 and May 2014 at retail outlets in the Grand Rapids area, including Cabela’s, Silver Bullet Firearms and Rylee’s Ace Hardware. That caught the attention of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Twenty disassembled guns were found in June in a shipment of auto parts bound for Lebanon, agents said.
WOOD-TV reports Elian is a naturalized citizen of the U.S.
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