Another University of South Florida student, who “was scheduled to be awarded his undergraduate degree Saturday.”
TAMPA – A University of South Florida student has been arrested on a weapons charge in connection with a case against two other students accused of transporting explosives.
Karim Moussaoui, 28, went to a shooting range with the two other students, Youssef Megahed and Ahmed Mohamed, on July 11, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court. Moussaoui told the FBI he took pictures and didn’t fire any weapons, the complaint states.
On that date, Megahed signed a membership agreement and rented a Glock 17, which is a 9 mm handgun, at the Shoot Straight Gun and Archery Range at 3909 N. U.S. 301, the complaint states.
Moussaoui and others are shown entering the range eight days later on a surveillance video the Shoot Straight provided to the FBI, according to the complaint. Agents searching a computer found in Megahed’s home found pictures of Moussaoui “standing at a firing lane possessing a shoulder-fired weapon and wearing the type of hearing protection shooters use at a shooting range.”
Federal authorities have charged the international student with “possession or receiving of a firearm by a person admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa.”
“We’ve known since the summer they were interested in this person,” said USF spokesman Ken Gullette, referring to Moussaoui.
Moussaoui is from Morocco and has been living in a campus residence hall and studying computer engineering, Gullette said. He was scheduled to be awarded his undergraduate degree Saturday.
His parents arrived Wednesday from Morocco to attend his graduation.
At today’s hearing, they signed a $50,000 signature bond for his release. Moussaoui surrendered his passport and travel documents.
The defendant was told he must vacate campus housing within two weeks of graduation. He must then find an apartment with a phone and begin serving house arrest and wear an ankle monitor. Until then, he must have daily phone contact with pretrial services.
Moussaoui’s attorney, Stephen Crawford, said the student was awakened this morning in his dorm room and arrested. His client was scheduled to take his last final exam at 1 p.m. today but will miss the class, he said.
Crawford said the defendant comes from a prominent family of engineers and developers in Morocco.
Moussaoui’s father, Hamou, spoke to reporters after the hearing.
“America is a country of justice,” he said. “My son loves America. Since he was a boy, he loves America.”