A Charlotte man is facing federal charges after investigators said he attempted to smuggle weapons and ammunition into West Africa.
Richmond Attah, 30, was charged with one count of violating the Arms Export Control Act, one count of illegal firearms dealing, two counts of smuggling goods from the United States and four counts of making false statements to a firearms dealer, according to federal authorities.
Officials said between September 2013 and December 2015 Attah purchased approximately 63 firearms and 3,500 rounds of ammunition from various stores, Internet vendors and at gun shows. The indictment then states on Sept. 4, 2015, Attah traveled from Charlotte to Ghana.
Attah hid $30,100 in his luggage during his return trip, falsely declaring on customs paperwork that he was bringing $350 back into the United States, according to the charges.
Most recently, between November 2015 and December 2015, the indictment alleges Attah purchased 22 more firearms and ammunition from dealers in North Carolina.
Specifically, the indictment said Attah lied on his application and said the guns were for him when he purchased several of the weapons from Mount Holly Gun and Pawn.
A manager of the store told Channel 9 Attah actually bought the guns online and they simply handled the paperwork. The man added it did seem odd Attah purchased more than one of the same kind of weapon.
The court document goes on to state Attah then hid more than two dozen weapons and another 3,500 rounds of ammunition inside a washing machine and dryer and tried to have them shipped to Ghana. U.S. Customs found the weapons and ammunition before they were shipped out of the United States.
Attah was arrested from his place of employment Thursday, according his father.
Sampson Attah said federal agents came to their home looking for his son early that morning. Channel 9 spoke with him Thursday afternoon following his son’s arrest.
“Look at the door,” said Sampson Attah. “They broke through the house.”
Sampson Attah showed Channel 9 where federal agents broke through the front door of his home. The father said he came home to a slew of federal agents inside his home.
“My breakfast sandwich is still sitting on the table,” Sampson Attah pointed out. “I haven’t been able to eat all day.”
Sampson Attah said he’s shocked by the allegations and firmly denied any knowledge of the alleged gun trafficking scheme.
“If it is true, that he’s been doing this — not in this house,” said Sampson Attah.
Sampson Attah said agents searched his home but didn’t find anything.
“They took my cellphone and laptop. Everything was out and, oh, my God,” said Sampson Attah, shaking his head.
Sampson Attah said he and his family are from Ghana and that Richmond has lived with him here in Charlotte since 2003. When asked he said his son went to Ghana to visit his girlfriend. He said the couple share a child and has another one on the way.
“He’s a good man,” said Sampson Attah, again getting emotional. “He’s my son and I love him. I’m just praying God should intervene.”
The father said he’s in the process of getting his son a lawyer. Richmond Attah made his first court appearance Thursday.