HomeNewsCrimeArmy Major convicted for smuggling guns to Ghana

Army Major convicted for smuggling guns to Ghana


A federal jury has convicted a United States Army Major, Kojo Owusu Dartey, who has been found guilty on multiple charges related to smuggling firearms to Ghana.

These firearms were disguised and concealed in blue barrels of rice and household goods by the Mr Dartey who is assigned to Fort Liberty.

Information on the US Attorney’s Office website, says his charges include dealing in firearms without a license, delivering firearms without notice to the carrier and smuggling goods from the United States.

The rest are; illegally exporting firearms without a license, making false statements made to an agency of the United States, making false declarations before the court, and conspiracy.

Dartey, aged 42, faces a maximum penalty of 240 months when sentenced on July 23, 2024.

The conviction follows a partnership between US law enforcement agencies and Ghanaian authorities, shedding light on an international arms trafficking operation.

The facts and evidence presented during trial said between June 28 and July 2, 2021, Dartey purchased seven firearms in the Fort Liberty area.

He then tasked a U.S. Army Staff Sergeant at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to purchase three firearms there and send them to Dartey in North Carolina. 

Dartey then hid all the firearms, including multiple handguns, an AR15, 50-round magazines, suppressors, and a combat shotgun inside blue barrels underneath rice and household goods and smuggled the barrels out of the Port of Baltimore, Maryland, on a container ship to the Port of Tema in Ghana. 

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) recovered the firearms and reported the seizure to the DEA attaché in Ghana and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division. 

At the same time, Dartey was a witness in the trial of U.S. v. Agyapong. A case that involved a 16-defendant marriage fraud scheme between soldiers on Fort Liberty and foreign nationals from Ghana that Dartey had tipped off officials to.

In preparation for the trial, Dartey lied to federal law enforcement about his sexual relationship with a defense witness and lied on the stand and under oath about the relationship. 

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, speaking after Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II accepted the verdict, expressed appreciation to Ghanaian authorities for their support.

“Through a partnership with Ghanaian officials, this rogue Army Major was convicted at trial after smuggling guns to Ghana in blue barrels of rice and household goods. I want to thank the Ghana Revenue Authority and the International Cooperation Unit Office of the Attorney-General of Ghana for their assistance in the investigation.

“I also commend the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) attachés to U.S. Embassy Accra and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs of the Department’s Criminal Division for their significant assistance to this prosecution,” he said.


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