An Australian man in the US with an ESTA has been arrested for possessing weapons.
23 March 2011
ESTA holder arrested on illegal weapons charge
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced the arrest of Elie Malkoun, a 53-year-old citizen of Australia, for possession of a firearm by a non-immigrant visa holder.
Elie Malkoun was in the US with an ESTA, a 90-day travel authorisation for nationals of participating countries, and is not subject to an exception under 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(2) which allows the possession of firearms.
ATF special agents from the Los Angeles Field Division, El Centro field office with task force officers from the California Department of Justice arrested Malkoun, in Glendale, Arizona, on March 20, during a traffic stop without incident.
Agents and officers recovered several items of evidence linking Malkoun to being in possession of weapons in violation of federal law.
"This arrest is a clear indication that people are still trying to obtain firearms illegally which place communities at risk for violent crimes," said Special Agent in Charge John A. Torres, ATF Los Angeles Field Division.
"ATF will continue its mission in keeping the public safe by investigating all firearm-related crimes, by working with our state and local law enforcement partners, as we did with the California Department of Justice on this investigation."
Malkoun was arrested and taken to the US District Court in Phoenix for his initial appearance.