UPDATE (CBS46) -- Investigators are learning that a Delta employee may have helped L'Homme with his attempt to smuggle 11 firearms to Saint Maarten
According to a federal document filed with the U.S. District Court, Abdoul Diallo is accused of knowingly making false statements to a federally licensed firearms dealer obtain guns for L'Homme, something he was apparently paid $2,200 to do.
It was later discovered that Diallo was the boyfriend of L'Homme's sister and that the two had attended a gun show together in Marietta.
According to ATF records, Diallo purchased nine of the 11 firearms that L'Homme attempted to bring to Saint Martin at the gun show in early October.
ATLANTA (CBS46) -- A man from France has been arrested for attempting to smuggle 11 firearms through Hartsfield Jackson-Atlanta International Airport.
According to the criminal complaint, Kenan L'Homme checked into the international terminal on Oct. 11 and was ticketed to fly internationally to Saint Maarten on a Delta Airlines flight.
He checked two pieces of luggage and Delta sent them to the TSA security screening area. As the bags passed through the x-ray machine, the operator noticed what appeared to be several firearms inside.
When TSA officials opened the bag, they found two karaoke machines. When they opens the karaoke machines, they found 9 handguns and 2 AR/M-4 lower units concealed within the machines. All of the firearms were individually wrapped in aluminum foil.
A French man is singing a different tune after being arrested for smuggling guns out of #Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, inside a karaoke machine. Full details @cbs46 #crimehttps://t.co/yhLQ0ilvD7 pic.twitter.com/hrvDi5i4bF— Jamie S Kennedy (@Jamie_S_Kennedy) October 13, 2021
Experts said this is not as wild as it may seem.
“The way that guns are usually trafficked to Caribbean countries is through these compartments you know, in laundry machines, even in vehicle parts,” said Eugenio Weigend Vargas, Director for Gun Violence Prevention at American Progress.
It was discovered that L'Homme, who was in the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa, did not declare any firearms and does not possess any license to export firearms.
For those looking to smuggle guns, Weigend Vargas says that Georgia is an appealing state.
“The flow of guns within the United States usually goes from states with weak gun laws like Georgia, like Florida, to states with stronger gun laws.”
L'Homme reportedly told AFT special agents that he bought the firearms from a Jamaican male out of the trunk of a vehicle in Newnan for $2,500. He was hoping to take them to Saint Marten and sell for profit.
The firearms included:
1 Smith & Wesson M&P pistol
1 CA P-105 pistol
1 Glock 26 pistol
1 Glock 43 pistol
3 Glock 23 pistols
1 Glock 30S pistol
1 Andersn AR-15 lower nit
1 Aero precision AR-15 lower unit
It was also discovered that one gun was not manufactured in Georgia, which meant it travelled in or affected interstate commerce.
In January 2021, TSA said that Atlanta topped the list for the most firearms found at airport security checkpoints the previous year. TSA officers discovered 220 firearms at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in 2020. The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport came in second with 176 firearms.
Tracing exactly how many guns leave the US illegally is hard to put a number on Weigend Vargas said. But they do know U.S. guns travel far and wide.
“There are reports that show the U.S. is an important source of crime guns in Brazil. And there was a 2018 report by Inside Crime, that showed that US guns were even reaching Chile.”
Delta Airlines has confirmed that one of its employees was suspended immediately in connection to the investigation but it is unclear what role the employee played.
The TSA sent the following statement:
A TSA officer at ATL early Monday morning discovered and intercepted several undeclared and improperly packed firearms which had been artfully concealed in checked baggage belonging to a male traveling to Princess Juliana International Airport in Saint Martin. We immediately partnered with the Atlanta Police Department, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, CBP and ATF.