This article was published as part of a content-sharing agreement between Army Times and The Fayetteville Observer.

A Fort Liberty Army officer was convicted at trial last week of smuggling weapons to West Africa and lying to a grand jury.

When sentenced in June, Kojo Owusu Dartey, 42, faces a maximum penalty of 20 months in federal prison after being found guilty April 23 of dealing in firearms without a license, delivering firearms without notice to the carrier, smuggling goods from the United States, illegally exporting firearms without a license, making false statements made to an agency of the United States, making false declarations before the court, and conspiracy.

After four days of testimony, the jury found him not guilty of impeding the due administration of justice and five counts of knowingly making a false statement to firearms dealers.

According to the U.S. Attorney Michael Easley for the Eastern District of North Carolina, between June 28 and July 2, 2021, Dartey purchased seven firearms in the Fort Liberty area and tasked a U.S. Army staff sergeant at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to purchase three firearms there and send them to Dartey in North Carolina.

The indictment alleges the staff sergeant purchased the weapons from the Fort Campbell PX and Dartey, also known as Killa K, purchased weapons at the Fort Liberty PX as well as at gun and pawn shops in Fayetteville.

Dartey then hid all the firearms, including multiple handguns, an AR15, 50-round magazines, suppressors and a combat shotgun at the bottom of blue barrels containing rice and household goods and smuggled the barrels out of the Port of Baltimore, Maryland, on a container ship to the Port of Tema in Ghana.

Ghanaian officials recovered the firearms and reported the seizure to the DEA attache in Ghana and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Baltimore, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

At the same time, Dartey was a witness in a case that involved a 16-defendant marriage fraud scheme between soldiers on Fort Liberty and foreign nationals from Ghana that Dartey had tipped off officials to.

In preparation for the trial, Dartey lied to federal law enforcement about his sexual relationship with a defense witness and lied on the stand and under oath about the relationship, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Dartey was indicted and arrested in May 2023. The charges against his alleged co-conspirator, George Archer, are still pending.

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