Former Boca Jeweler Might be Crucial to Arms Smuggling Case
by Jon Burstein
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel
August 7, 2001
A former Boca Raton jeweler convicted of fraud could prove to be a pivotal figure in the case against two suspected arms dealers arrested in South Florida.
But the role Randy Glass, 49, apparently played as a confidential informant remains clouded in the illegal military weapons trading inquiry.
Glass said Monday that he risked his life while dealing with people seeking to buy nuclear weapons to use against the United States, but attorneys for the alleged arms dealers said he manufactured the case to dodge a lengthy prison sentence.
When the investigation began in 1998, Glass was facing 13 federal charges that he defrauded $6 million from jewelry and diamond dealers around the world and had laundered $1 million in drug money. Three of those charges each carried up to 20 years in prison.
By the time the 31-month weapons cases ended with the arrests of Diaa Mohsen, 57, and Mohammed Rajaa Malik, 52, Glass had a plea deal that called for him to spend 20 months in federal prison. Three days after the June 12 arrests at a West Palm Beach warehouse, Glass' sentence was further cut to only seven months in prison.
"[Glass] made a tremendous deal," said Jim Eisenberg, Malik's attorney. "There's no question that Glass created this case to get out of his own problems. ... I've never seen anyone play the system as well as Mr. Glass."
But Glass said in a statement that he acted with America's interest at heart and cooperated with federal agents for three years.
"I introduced these men to federal agents because they told me they wanted to buy arms including nuclear weapons for use against Americans and specifically members of the Jewish community," Glass wrote. "I continued to cooperate even when myself and my family were threatened with death because I was told by federal agencies that the case had become a matter of national security with, potentially, thousands of lives at risk."
Court documents outlining the cases against Malik and Mohsen allege that the two New Jersey men were acting as go-betweens for a foreign buyer who was interested in Stinger missiles, night-vision goggles and other sophisticated military weaponry. Mohsen even asked once if he could pay for some of the weapons with heroin, court records show.
The informant dealt with Mohsen and Malik for eight months before introducing him to an undercover federal agent posing as a rogue arms dealer, according to court records.
Mohsen, Malik and a third man identified in court records only as "Abbas" spent months negotiating deals with the undercover agent that never came through, court documents state.
Malik, of Watchung, N.J., and Mohsen, of Jersey City, N.J., were arrested after the undercover agent allegedly showed them a Stinger missile.
But whom they were purportedly working for remains a mystery. Court documents give no indications, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the U.S. Attorney's Office have refused to discuss the case.
Mohsen's attorney, Val Rodriguez, calls the case "big-time entrapment." Glass pressured Mohsen into dealing with him, Rodriguez said.
"It was [Glass'] ticket out of jail," Rodriguez said. "The federal government takes people desperate to get out of federal sentences and they use those persons to turn others into criminals who otherwise wouldn't be criminals."
Glass, who will begin serving his sentence Aug. 17, denied the defense attorneys' allegations that he concocted the arms trading case.
"I continue to assist the government with this extremely important case, which has far greater ramifications than have so far been revealed," he wrote. "My cooperation continues even though the final sentence in my case has been handed down and my assistance at this point can make no difference to the length of time I will spend in jail.
"My only regret is that, so far, the government has not offered to provide security for my family while the case against these extremely dangerous men continues," Glass wrote.
It isn't the first time Glass has been involved in a high-profile case. He testified against F. Lee Bailey in the famed attorney's 1999 contempt of court hearing in Orlando.
Bailey was accused of failing to turn over $2 million in legal fees.
Glass testified that Bailey tried to have him fence $1 million in jewelry. Bailey accused Glass of lying, saying that Glass had approached him months earlier about representing him. Bailey said Glass had asked him to approach the U.S. secretary of defense and get Glass a reduced sentence if he turned in an international terrorist. Bailey said he threw Glass out of his office.
Malik was released from jail on bail, while Mohsen is still being held.
Malik and Mohsen each face two counts of trying to illegally export military
weaponry. Mohsen also faces money-laundering charges.
Copyright © 2001, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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