West Springfield man who admitted selling guns expected to be deported back to Iraq

By Buffy Spencer | bspencer@repub.com
September 01, 2015 at 5:51 PM

SPRINGFIELD — A Springfield lawyer on Tuesday said the case of his client, Omar Khaled of West Springfield, was one of the saddest cases he has handled.

Joe Smith III told Hampden Superior Court Judge John S. Ferrara he expects the 21-year-old Khaled will be deported back to his native Iraq after he serves a sentence here for illegal sale of guns.

Khaled pleaded guilty to six charges and was sentenced to three years in state prison followed by five years probation.

Smith said the probation might not matter because Khaled's immigration lawyer said it is most likely Khaled will be deported back to Iraq after his sentence.

As Khaled's father looked on, Smith said Khaled was born in Iraq but came to the U.S. at age 15 after his family was granted asylum. A religious organization in New York helped the family relocate there, but then they moved to West Springfield when Khaled was 17, Smith said.

He said Khaled, who had no criminal record, no longer had family in Iraq and the area he is from is now controlled by ISIS.

"It will be very difficult for him when he gets back," Smith said.

Smith said Khaled came to this country not speaking English and dropped out of high school, later getting his high school equivalency degree.

"At some point he got with the wrong crowd," Smith said. He said "one serious mistake" has had this major consequence for him.

Ferrara said he is sorry about the deportation issue, saying maybe the immigration lawyer can pursue some other arrangement than having Khaled sent back to Iraq.

"It will be very difficult for him when he gets back."

Ferrara agreed he would make the recommendation requested by Smith that Khaled be allowed to serve his state prison sentence in the Hampden County Correctional Center in Ludlow. Judges can make that recommendation to the state Department of Corrections, but that department makes the decision about where a person serves a sentence.

Assistant District Attorney Mary A. Sandstrom said on March 26 Khaled contacted a confidential informant for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and offered to sell him a 9 mm pistol for $500.

On March 27 Khaled told the informant that Wilfredo Carrion would carry out the sale. On April 24 both Carrion and Khaled sold a gun to the informant.

Khaled pleaded guilty to:

  • carrying a firearm without a license
  • two counts of illegal possession of ammunition
  • possessing a large capacity feeding device
  • two counts of illegal sale of a firearm

Carrion, 19, of Springfield, pleaded guilty
Tuesday to 22 charges having to do with illegal sale of guns as well as gun possession. He was sentenced to three years in state prison followed by five years probation.