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Brothers sentenced for illegally shipping weapons parts to Thailand
A Bellevue man who pleaded guilty in October to charges he conspired with his brother to send out more than 250 shipments of firearm components to Thailand, along with numerous co-conspirators, until their arrests in June, was sentenced to two years in prison and three years of supervised release today in U.S. District Court in Seattle.
In their plea agreement, Nares Lekhakul, 36, admitted receiving firearm parts at his Bellevue residence requested by his brother, Naris Lekhakul, 42, to be delivered to Thailand. Nares admitted to attempting to hide the contents of the shipments using false packaging, false identities and invoices to avoid detection, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The Lekhakul brothers and four additional co-conspirators are believed to have orchestrated more than 250 illegal shipments of firearm components. Naris Lekhakul, a Thai citizen, was sentenced to three years in prison this morning.
The U.S. Attorney's Office lists as examples of false packaging and invoices that the men shipped .45-caliber magazines labeled as vented steel cases for electronic components while other shipments were passed as hobby parts, glow-in-the-dark marker sets, etc. The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations with assistance from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.