SANTA ANA, CALIF.
The CEO of an Orange County check-cashing business was arrested Tuesday on federal charges that accuse him of procuring and illegally exporting rifle scopes, laser bore sighters and other tactical equipment from the U.S. to Syria in violation of federal law, authorities said.
Rasheed Al Jijakli, 56, of Walnut, is expected to be arraigned in federal court on a three-count indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury on July 14.
If he is convicted of all three charges in the indictment, Jijakli would face a statutory maximum penalty of 50 years in prison.
Jijakli is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
The indictment was unsealed this morning after Jijakli was taken into custody without incident by law enforcement authorities.
To read the indictment click here: DOJ
The indictment accuses Jijakli of violating IEEPA, which authorizes the president to impose economic sanctions on a foreign country in response to an unusual or extraordinary threat to the national security.
The president issued an executive order that included broad restrictions on exports to Syria.
Jijakli also faces charges of conspiring to violate IEEPA and smuggling.
From January 2012 through March 2013, Jijakli and three other individuals purchased and smuggled export-controlled items to Syria without obtaining licenses from the Department of Commerce.
Jijakli and others allegedly hand-carried the items through Istanbul, Turkey and provided them to fighters in Syria.
Those items allegedly included day- and night-vision rifle scopes, laser bore sighters (tools used to adjust sights on firearms for accuracy when firing), flashlights, radios, a bulletproof vest and other tactical equipment, according to officials.