Sentencing set in Arizona gun-possession case of accused bomber
PHOENIX -- An Iraqi man charged in state court with detonating a homemade explosive device outside an Arizona Social Security building is set for sentencing in December after a jury found him guilty on three federal counts of being a felon in possession of guns and ammunition.
Abdullatif Ali Aldosary had pleaded not guilty in the federal case after authorities said they found guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition hidden in his attic and behind dresser drawers.
Opening statements began Wednesday. The jury reached a verdict Friday after about an hour of deliberations.
Sentencing is set for Dec. 9. Aldosary faces up to 10 years in prison for each of the three counts.
Prosecutors explained that Aldosary had a previous felony conviction and therefore wasn't allowed to own firearms or ammunition.
Aldosary's attorney told jurors to be skeptical of the government's case, and not to believe that just because the weapons were found inside his home that he knew they were there.
Separately, Aldosary faces multiple state counts, including 14 attempted first-degree murder charges, arson and use of explosives. Authorities say he detonated a homemade explosive device on Nov. 30 outside a Social Security Administration building in Casa Grande. No one was injured in the blast. Prosecutors said the attempted murder charges stem from 14 employees who were inside the building at the time of the explosion.
A trial date in that case has not yet been set.
Investigators say a search of Aldosary's home turned up documents that explained how to build an explosives device. Police have not disclosed a motive for the bombing. Aldosary has pleaded not guilty in the state case.
The federal firearms charges stemmed from evidence collected during searches of his home after the explosive was detonated, though a judge ruled previously that jurors in his federal trial would not be informed of the bombing.
In yet another apparently unrelated state case, Aldosary was charged in July with murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and two firearms counts in the Nov. 27, 2012, killing of an employee at the Arizona Grain processing facility in Maricopa.
Orlando Requena, 26, was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds. He had worked for several years at the facility, where Aldosary also was employed for a time.
Aldosary came to the United States legally in 1997 from his home country of Iraq.
In 2008, he pleaded guilty to felony aggravated harassment charges. He was sentenced to two months in jail and three years of probation. But his probation was revoked a year later, and he was ordered to serve a year in prison.
Aldosary had sought help from U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar's office in 2011 in obtaining permanent residency. Gosar has said he contacted Homeland Security, which responded in a letter that Aldosary's case had been put on hold "pursuant to the terrorism-related grounds of inadmissibility" under a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Authorities said he was denied a green card in 2008 because he fought with anti-government forces trying to overthrow Saddam Hussein in Basra, Iraq, in 1991.
Gosar's office questioned why the man hadn't been deported.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Aldosary's previous arrests on harassment charges and a probation violation weren't considered deportable offenses.