Jurors in Miami needed less than an hour to convict a man of conspiring to buy hundreds of stolen M-16 rifles and various explosives for a friend who wanted to send them to the West Bank.
Yanny Aguila Urbay, a 24-year-old Cuban immigrant, faces up to five years in prison. Negotiations to buy the weapons by Urbay and his friend Abdalaziz Aziz Hemayel were recorded by law enforcement officials as part of a sting operation, the Miami Herald reports.
The investigation started in early 2009 when Urbay reached out to an informant for help in buying the weapons. An undercover North Miami Beach police officer posed as a weapons supplier in meetings with the men at the Miami Jai Alai fronton, a Burger King and other locations. Hemayel pled guilty to the conspiracy charge last month.
In one meeting, Hemayel talked about buying 300 guns including M-16 assault rifles, handguns, silencers, 200 improvised explosive devices and another 200 grenades. The undercover officer testified that he made it clear the weapons were stolen from New York.
According to the criminal complaint, Hemayel claimed he had a "family friend" from his West Bank village who now lives in South Florida and would pay for the weapons.