Deputy arrested after reselling guns used in deadly school shooting to federal informant
An informant wore video and audio recording devices to meet the deputy with a plan to buy $3,000 worth of illegal guns used in crimes
By Ellie Rushing and Jeremy Roebuck
The Philadelphia Inquirer
PHILADELPHIA — Two of the guns used in the shooting outside Roxborough High School last month, which left a 14-year-old dead and four teens injured, later ended up in the hands of a Philadelphia sheriff’s deputy who then illegally resold the weapons to a federal informant, according to a court filing unsealed Thursday.
Samir Ahmad, 29, a four-year veteran of the department, was arrested at work last week as part of an FBI gun-trafficking investigation, the records say.
In April, an informant set up a controlled gun buy with Ahmad, where he paid Ahmad $1,150 for a Smith & Wesson .38 Special revolver and bullets, according to the records. Ahmad also offered to sell the informant Percocet, according to the court filing.
Investigators continued to monitor Ahmad, and in October, set up another undercover buy.
The informant, wearing a video and audio recording device, met Ahmad outside his North Philadelphia home Oct. 13 with a plan to buy $3,000 worth of guns, according to the records.
Ahmad told the informant they would have to wait for another person to deliver the guns. As they waited, the informant said he was not a U.S. citizen, and was worried he could be deported if caught with a gun.
“You don’t got to worry about none of that,” Ahmad said, according to the records.
Eventually, a car pulled up, and Ahmad approached it and retrieved the guns, the records say.
Ahmad sold the informant two Glock pistols for $3,000, the records say, and also offered to sell him a third.
The night before Ahmad was arrested, he sold another semiautomatic pistol and more than 50 grams of methamphetamine to the informant, the records say.
After the sale, federal investigators conducted a trace on the weapons, a standard procedure that determines where the gun was originally bought and whether it is linked to any crimes.
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The trace showed that the two Glocks sold in October had been used just two weeks earlier in the shooting outside Roxborough High School, according to the records, where five shooters unleashed more than 60 bullets at a group of teens leaving a football scrimmage. Four teens, ages 14 to 17, were injured, and Nicolas Elizalde died.
The court records do not explain how Ahmad came to be in possession of the guns used in the shooting — or accuse him of having a direct link to that crime. Prosecutors declined to comment, as did his attorney.
Ahmad has been charged with firearms trafficking, and selling and transferring a firearm to a non-U.S. national or citizen.
During a brief hearing in federal court Thursday, Ahmad agreed through his attorney not to fight government efforts to keep him detained until trial.
He said nothing as he was escorted into the courtroom in an olive prison jumpsuit, and pressed his hands to his face as defense lawyer Michael Parkinson addressed the judge.
Parkinson declined to discuss details of the case afterward.
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“It’s way early in the process right now,” he said. “At this point we have to look into our investigation and think the government’s going to continue with theirs.”
The Sheriff’s Office, through a spokesperson, said Ahmad was served a 30-day notice of intent to dismiss “for repeated violations of the Philadelphia Sheriff Office directives, policies and procedures. As always, the Office of the Sheriff will continue to cooperate with local, state, and federal authorities.”
The spokesperson did not elaborate on the “repeated violations” and directed additional comments to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“As alleged, Samir Ahmad abused his authority — to the greatest extent possible — as a sworn law enforcement officer,” U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Romero said in a statement. “The defendant allegedly illegally sold firearms on the street, and for the sake of putting money in his pocket, was willing to put deadly firearms into the hands of someone he knew was prohibited by law from possessing them.”
Jacqueline Maguire, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia division, called the actions reprehensible.
“Philadelphia is awash in illegal guns, which are being used to commit violent crimes, so every weapon we can take off the street and every trafficker we can lock up makes a difference,” Maguire said.
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