United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner

USA: Three Maryland Residents From Cameroon Facing Federal Indictment for Attempting to Illegally Export Arms and Ammunition

Justice.gov | Three Maryland Residents Facing Federal Indictment for Attempting to Illegally Export Arms and Ammunition to Nigeria

Allegedly Exported Arms and Ammunition Without Obtaining Export Licenses in Violation of the Arms Export Control Act and the Export Reform Control Act
Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging three Maryland men for the federal charges of conspiracy, violation of the Arms Export Control Act and the Export Reform Control Act, related to the export of firearms and ammunition from the United States to Nigeria. Charged in the indictment, which was returned late yesterday, are:

Wilson Nuyila Tita, age 45, of Owings Mills, Maryland;
Eric Fru Nji, age 40, of Fort Washington, Maryland; and
Wilson Che Fonguh, age 39, of Bowie, Maryland.

The indictment was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Special Agent in Charge James R. Mancuso of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; and Special Agent in Charge Timothy Jones of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division.

According to the four-count indictment, from at least November 2017 through July 19, 2019, the defendants conspired with each other and with others to export from the United States to Nigeria defense articles and items identified on the United States Munitions List (“USML”) and the Commerce Control List (“CCL”) without first obtaining export licenses. The defendants also allegedly conspired to conceal from the United States that those items were being shipped from the Port of Baltimore in Maryland to Nigeria and at least one other location in Africa. The defendants and their co-conspirators allegedly contributed funds for the purchase of firearms, ammunition, reloading materials and other equipment for shipping overseas. The indictment alleges that the defendants and their co-conspirators communicated about their efforts and plans to ship weapons and ammunitions using an on-line encrypted messaging application and code words in order to conceal their activities.

As detailed in the indictment, the defendants and other conspirators concealed the firearms, ammunition, rifle scopes, and other items in heavily wrapped packages and duffle bags, and inside sealed compressor units, placing those items into a shipping container destined for Nigeria without obtaining the requisite licenses from the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Commerce. Further, as part of the conspiracy, one of the co-conspirators allegedly caused the submission of electronic export information to the U.S. government for the container which listed materially false information as to the identity of the exporter and the intermediate and ultimate consignee, as well as the ultimate destination of the container’s contents.

Specifically, the indictment alleges that on January 17, 2019, the defendants and their co-conspirators exported, attempted to export, or caused to be exported to Nigeria articles on the USML the export of which was controlled under the Arms Export Control Act, without first having obtained the required license or written approval from the U.S. Department of State, specifically: 38 semi-automatic firearms; over 35,000 rounds of ammunition; and 44 magazines. On that same day, the defendants allegedly exported to Nigeria one Bushnell Trophy Rifle Optic and one Burris AR Rifle Scope, the export of which were controlled under the Commerce Control List, without first having obtained the required license or written approval from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Finally, the indictment alleges that the defendants transported 28 firearms with obliterated serial numbers, including 18 rifles.

If convicted, the defendants each face a mandatory sentence of five years in federal prison for the conspiracy; a maximum of 20 years in federal prison each for violating the Arms Export Control Act and for violating the Export Control Reform Act; and a maximum of five years in federal prison for transportation of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. The defendants are each expected to have an initial appearance this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas M. DiGirolamo beginning at 3:00 p.m.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

Seven defendants have been charged in related cases and of those six have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended HSI and the ATF for their work in the investigation. Mr. Lenzner recognized the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement; U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service; Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the Naval Criminal Investigative Service; and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for their contributions to the investigation. Acting U.S. Attorney Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen O. Gavin, who is prosecuting the federal case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.

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18 comments

  1. we should at least be lucid enough to ask when america began controlling the shipment of arms?were those shiped to afghanistan and syria controlled?

    let us now turn to the article itself,as we can see, NDAH GREH,CHI ,TITA and FUNGUH wanted to ship the arms to nigeria.this support my earlier observation that once yaounde succeeds to cut ambazonian supply roads from nigeria and equatorial guinea.the conflict will be over,no matter how long some of the ignorant fighters try to resist.even though i was insulted as bieng stupid and irrational on this forum for making such an observation.today everything is evident that things will end up exactly like i said.

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  2. one may ask the following question,what was the scenario planned in younde to push ambazonian illusionist to capitulate?by carefully observing the situation,we see that they chosed a long term strategy that will allow the situation to degenerate gradually for the people on north and south west who will then turn against ambazonian fighters.they knew very well that once it becomes difficult for people to live thier every days life normally,the human instinct of survival will push them to rebel against ambazonians.this is why it is in thier advantage to allow the situation to decay even more.to put it simple the more ghost towns are called in this regions the closer younde gets to final victory.this ambazonian illusionist can not suspect because they lack cretical thinking.

  3. The ancestors of anglophones are at work. no to ambazonia terrorism destruction of anglophone regions.

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  4. @BAH ACHO You are dreaming…Are the arms that are been ceased by Ambasonian fighters from the military also been controlled by USA?The situation is already decay.There is no remedy.Yaounde only controls the main towns,though ghost towns are still respected.Mbengwi council,Tubah,Bali e.t.c all operate in B’da. Nguti coucil opearates in Kumba. Is Y’de going to guard those their appointed mayors(who are civilians) in those rural areas for them to function? The institutions has already been destroyed and will never function in Ambasonia. Just like one LRC’s soldier said: Ambasonia fighters are using all kinds of arms.They use even machetes. Those mayors appointed by Yaounde will not operate freely in Ambasonia.Except Y’de succeeds to kill all Ambasonia fighters,which will never happen….

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    • KONGOSSA,,,, the arms ceased by amazonian fighters if it is true are bought by a legitimate government through normal channels. at least that is how it is presented to us by America which controls more than 25% of market shear in the global arms business.the question is not whether ambazonians control rural areas, but whether they can establish a system of administration and operate independently. This I can assure you base on balance of force is not going to happen. They do not possess the military capacity to implement thier will through force.here is how things will certainly evolve in the coming months. Once people become tired more and more of the conflict, they will turn against the remaining ambazonian fighters and that will be the end. That will be the end of AMBAZONIA.

  5. @BAH ACHO ”there are no anglophones in africa but africans people speaking NSUH?BAFUT META ,ETC.”
    ….Ha ha ha. Are u going to force your so called Pan-African ideology to people who don’t want it? You this LRC agents want to conquer Southern Cameroon on the guise of Pan-Africanism..Who told u that I want to be a Pan-Africanist? I am an anglophone,it is my past and i can’t deny it.Get that into your thick skull.If u claim there is Africa and no anglophone then u are pouring water on your own wine.You should start by saying there is no Africa,but there are BAFUT,META,EWONDO e.t.c.You can’t claim that there is Africa,then at the same time,u say there are no anglophones.That we just have but BAFUT,META e.t.c in Africa.You have lost the argument.Just continue whining as u have been doing.

    • KONGOSSA,,,, this is not an ideology but evidence base thinking because in reality there are people who speak, BAFUT, META,NGIE ETC in Africa.if we go by evidence there is nothing geniologically linking any of us to the British.we are a different civilization, with its values languages and spirituality. Anglophones are people from the Anglo German family which we have nothing to do with. I wanted to say there are no anglophones in Africa but Africans who speak, BAFUT, META, NGIE, ETC. this is not speculative thinking but basé on what every eye can see. we do not shear the SLITEST civilization values with the British to be anglophones. we can’t identify whith a recent hybrid race like the British. We are an ENCIENT people only comperable to India and China.

  6. @@BAH ACHO So u accept that there is” Africa” but at the same time, refuses that there is no ”Anglophone” in Africa.Do u have malaria or something? When did u last take your medication?

  7. KONGOSSA,,,, what is an anglophone, where did they come from? What is thier history? What is thier language? Which costoms do they practice? ? Do they have ancestors? What is their spiritually?if we look at this questions, we are forced by the spirit of logic to conclude that there are no anglophones in Africa, but Africans who speak BAFUT META, NSUH ETC. what history are you talking about. some body enter your house rape your family and looth your property then give you a tittle and you want to accept?this is nothing but mental death. With very small land japanese ? people have build a five trillion economy using Japanese as language and SHINTOISM as spirituality. thier economy is two times that of Britain the land of your ancestors kikikikikikikiki

  8. @BAH ACHO Wow..So,how does Cameroon intend to re-establish her syatem of administration and function as before,since Ambasonia can’t?

  9. @BAH ACHO Why do u keep writing English here,instead of some African language,Mr Pan-Africanist? By the way,who told u that we African’s are one when we don’t speak the same language? Mr.Pan Africanist?

  10. @BAH ACHO What is a beti military man with arms doing in Ndian? or Manyu? is he not raping my family and looting my properties the same way the white man u are accusing did? At least the British did not rape our ancestors during their stay in Manyu,Ndian,Fako,Momo,Mezam e.t.c.But a black African is doing it today,before the eyes of the whole world.Are those military killing and burning villages in Bafut,Momo e.t.c from Europe? Are they not from Africa? U are claiming that Africans are one because they have black colour? Are the Europeans one? You are preaching to the wrong person.Take this your sermon to Biya who has been governing Cameroon for the past 40years.I think he is the one who needs this your lectures.For now,lets enjoy the war while it last…….

    • KONGOSSA,,,, ACHO What is a beti military man with arms doing in Ndian? or Manyu?we must regret the fact you encouraged children to take up arms against younde. As irresponsible as they are,objectively speaking this was a grave strategic mistake that led to the consequences you rightly mentioned above.a more calm carefully thought rational approach would have enabled us to fore see what is now happening and certainly prevent it by not taking arms against younde. This is not a question of agreeing on it or not. But the evidence at hand speaks for itself. Your irrational emotional reactive irresponsible behaviour led to this tragedy. As for the responsibility of younde. All those who were calm and lucid enough at the beginning saw what thier reaction will be.did I not predict this?

  11. KONGOSSA,,,, if we allow logic to speak for ourselves. We can say without possibility of doubt that we are one. The following arguments sustained this reality. We have exactly the same family system, we celebrate birth and death exactly the same, have similar cuisine,etc. This are indisputable anthropological realities. When someone who speaks mankon relates to the person who speaks nsuh in exactly the same way. This has never been and will never be the case with the British.it is not because all Chinese do not speak the same language that some are not Chinese. History and culture tie them as a civilization block.

    • you said the British did not commit rape pillage and murder in Manyu?to awnser this question I invite you to visit the British museum in London and we shall talk again. Having visited it myself I can guarantee you that I saw with my own eyes arts objects looted by the British. This is evidence that can not be questioned otherwise how come this objects are in the British museum? Are the Europeans one? Well when it is time to invade and pillage others they are one. It is only the Anglo americanised and francophonised copycat that doesn’t see this reality.the fact Britain, America, France, Germany, Holland and the rest teamed up to invade Afghanistan, Iraq, côté d’Ivoire, lybia, Syria and those to come prove they are one. They shear a common history center of interest and so they are one.

  12. @BAH ACHO ”you said the British did not commit rape pillage and murder in Manyu?to awnser this question I invite you to visit the British museum in London and we shall talk again. Having visited it myself I can guarantee you that I saw with my own eyes arts objects looted by the British.This is evidence that can not be questioned otherwise how come this objects are in the British museum? ”………So?are u saying that the British Massacred our Ancestors in Manyu,Ndian Fako,Mezam,Momo Bui and burn down their villages because our ancestors asked to be independent?.I didn’t know about this.I guess they also used policy of assimilation.You must be a very good researcher to have dig all this ”facts”..Thank u very much.I will tell this to my children.

    • KONGOSA…….if you want to know what i mean just visit the british museum.you will be shocked to see all the objects looted three hundred years ago standing there.except you want to tell me that the british had all the money of the world to buy it.first how did they find themselves in ndian,manyu,mezam momo,bui,etc?what were they doing there?