Michigan man smuggled guns to his native Lebanon, police say


By: Associated Press

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a 54-year-old western Michigan man used his import-export business to smuggle handguns from the U.S. to his native Lebanon.

A criminal complaint in U.S. District Court says Gilbert Oscar Elian of Grand Rapids bought dozens of handguns from 2012-2014 at retail outlets in the Grand Rapids area, drawing attention from federal authorities.

Homeland Security Investigations says Elian exported or tried to export about 18 shipments since 2004, mostly recently in March. Federal investigators say that they found handguns hidden in shipments of auto parts from his business Prestige Imports.

A lawyer for Elian says Wednesday it would be premature to comment on the case.

WOOD-TV reports the naturalized U.S. citizen was in court Tuesday in Grand Rapids and is in custody ahead of a Friday detention hearing.