In a wrecked Silverado pickup behind a strip shopping center on the Grapevine Highway, Hurst police on Oct. 2 found what appeared to be military documents and three weapons.
Advised by military officials to sweep the truck for explosives, they evacuated the shopping center and called in reinforcements, including the FBI, Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to a Star-Telegram report that day.
A federal indictment handed up Tuesday listed what was found in the truck and a nearby dry-cleaners: fraudulent military and government ID badges including Defense Department badges, and plastic badge holders containing fraudulent CIA credentials. Also, a duffle bag containing three Defense Department vehicle registration decals, an unloaded .40-caliber Smith & Wesson pistol, and chrome tape that appeared to have been used to mimic the appearance of a microchip on ID badges.
Also seized were an unloaded 12-gauge Hawk Industries shotgun, ammunition for both guns, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
The truck's owner, Azeez Ahmed Al-Ghaziani, 30, of Fort Worth, now faces trial on two counts: fraudulent production of an identification document and possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office in Dallas.
The case started with a call about 5 a.m. Oct. 2 about a suspicious truck behind stores in the 700 block of the Grapevine Highway in Hurst. The truck appeared to have been involved in a wreck, police said at the time.
Officers could see two gun cases.
"[O]fficers decided to enter the unlocked truck to locate contact information for the owner and safeguard any firearms that might be in the truck," the news release stated.
Instead, they pulled out the ID badges, the weapons and "zip-close bags commonly used in the distribution of illegal drugs," according to the news release.
Sometime during the search, Al-Ghaziani walked out of a dry-cleaning business. He said he was the shop owner and apparently had been sleeping there, Hurst police said at the time. The officers then got a search warrant for the cleaners.
Al-Ghaziani was arrested on the spot and remained in federal custody Wednesday. The maximum sentences are 15 years on the fraudulent production charge and 10 years on the firearm charge.