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Man gets 20 years for selling guns to terrorist group

January 29, 2020 GMT

MIAMI (AP) — A Colombian man who had been living in South Florida was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for selling firearms to a South American terrorist organization.

U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez sentenced Francisco Joseph Arcila Ramirez in Miami federal court, according to court records. Arcila pleaded guilty in October to providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

Arcila instructed two co-conspirators to illegally purchase six AK-style pistols in Miami-Dade County in August 2018, according to investigators. The firearms were then concealed in air-compressors purchased by Arcila at a Miami-area hardware store and shipped to Barranquilla, Colombia. The shipment also contained about 100 AK-47 magazines.

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In September 2018, Arcila met in Colombia with a National Liberation Army weapons broker, according to prosecutors. Besides selling the six firearms for approximately 60 million Colombian pesos ($17,665), Arcila also discussed future sales with the violent paramilitary group.

The National Liberation Army was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department in 1997.