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Orange County CEO pleads guilty to exporting tactical gear to Syrian rebels

The chief executive of an Orange County check-cashing business pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to export tactical gear to Syrian rebels, federal prosecutors said.

Rasheed Al Jijakli, 57, a Walnut resident and U.S. citizen who was born in Syria, was indicted last year by a federal grand jury. According to the guilty plea, in 2012 and 2013 Jijakli, working with a group of people, bought tactical gear in the U.S. in order to provide it to the rebel groups, including Ahrar al Sham.

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Jijakli also instructed others to withdraw thousands of dollars from his company, Palmyra Corporation, to pay for the gear.

According to the plea, Jijakli and his co-conspirators provided the groups with at least 43 laser boresighters, 85 day rifle scopes, 30 night vision rifle scopes, tactical flashlights, one digital monocular, five radios, and one bulletproof vest.

He is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 3 in federal court in Santa Ana and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

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