Jordanian man who sought sniper rifle at Boardman store pleads g - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Jordanian man who sought sniper rifle at Boardman store pleads guilty

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

A Jordanian man who sought to purchase a "sniper rifle" from a Boardman gun store has pleaded guilty. 

Court records show that Abdul Maola Al-Abadi entered a guilty plea Wednesday to a charge filed after federal authorities say he falsified a document to buy a firearm from a Boardman outdoor supply store.

The U.S. Attorney's Office has asked a federal judge to remove Al-Abadi from the United States after the guilty plea. 

The original complaint filed against Al-Abadi accused him of making a false statement to a federally licensed firearms dealer.

The feds began investigating after a manager at Fin Feather Fur Outfitters on Boardman Poland Road said he became concerned when Abdul Maola Al-Abadi told a salesperson that he wanted to buy a “sniper rifle for training.”

An affidavit filed in U.S. District Court says the manager told the investigator it isn't common for people to refer to firearms as sniper rifles.

The manager refused to let the sale go through and contacted federal authorities.

According to the affidavit, the manager told an investigator from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms that Al-Abadi was in the store for two to three hours, at one point having someone translate for him and also allegedly attempted to have someone else make the purchase for him.

The manager said that Al-Abadi had been in the store earlier purchasing several knives and previously bought a 9 mm pistol.

Investigators say on the form Al-Abadi filled out to purchase the handgun, he indicated he was born in Jordan but was now a U.S. Citizen, and not considered an alien.

Although Al-Abadi is a permanent legal resident here, he is not a United States citizen.

According to the affidavit, in July 2015 Al-Abadi submitted an Immigrant visa application to the United States in which he denied ever being refused a visa or admission to the US.

A closer look at Homeland Security records uncovered that Al-Abadi's first non-immigrant visa was refused by the state department in 2007 and was refused a second time in 2012.

Al-Abadi, who admitted travel to Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Morocco, was refused a U.S. Visa a third time, again in late 2012.

The ATF arrested Al-Abadi in October after a special agent told a judge that he believed the handgun was purchased from the licensed dealer using a false statement.

Al-Abadi was released from federal custody under special conditions. He has surrendered his passport to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Although Al-Abadi could face three years in prison and $250,000 fine, the U.S. Attorney has requested that he be sent back to Jordan, where he is a citizen.

Al-Abadi is scheduled for sentencing in March when a decision will likely be rendered on if Abadi will be deported. 

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