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State News

Kissimmee woman sentenced to 37-month federal prison term for smuggling firearms internationally

Kissimmee, Florida – Carlos Mendoza, a U.S. District Court Judge for the Middle District of Florida, has sentenced Chrissie Fier Williams of Kissimmee to a 37-month federal prison term. The sentencing comes after Williams pleaded guilty on January 2, 2024, for smuggling firearms internationally.

Elaborate Smuggling Operation Uncovered

Court documents reveal that between January 28, 2021, and October 4, 2022, Williams ran a sophisticated scheme to smuggle firearms, firearm parts, and ammunition to Trinidad and Tobago. Over this period, Williams was involved in preparing packages supposedly containing household items, which were then shipped overseas. However, these packages cleverly concealed a variety of firearms and related items.

Within these shipments, authorities discovered completed pistols, AR-style rifles, critical firearm components capable of being assembled into functional guns, and high-capacity magazines, including a 65-round drum magazine and a 100-round drum magazine. To further conceal the illegal contents, Williams fabricated shipping manifests and employed “straw shippers” to send the packages under their names, thus distancing herself from the direct shipment of these dangerous items.

Investigation and Prosecution Efforts

The case was thoroughly investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, with valuable assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security. Assistant United States Attorney Dana E. Hill took charge of the prosecution.

Part of a Larger Effort to Reduce Gun Violence

The prosecution of Williams is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a nationwide initiative aimed at reducing violent crime and gun violence. Launched to foster cooperation among all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve, PSN has been updated with a new violent crime reduction strategy since May 26, 2021. This strategy is built around several core principles, including fostering trust and legitimacy within communities, supporting community-based organizations to prevent violence, setting focused enforcement priorities, and rigorously measuring outcomes to ensure effectiveness.

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