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CONVICTED heroin dealer from Melbourne with links to a notorious motorcycle gang has been indicted by a grand jury and refused bail after buying three pistols in Arizona.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Melbourne (City Guide)CONVICTED heroin dealer from Melbourne with links to a notorious motorcycle gang has been indicted by a grand jury and refused bail after buying three pistols in Arizona.

Elie Malkoun, 53, was deemed a ''flight risk'' after allegedly failing to reveal his criminal background on a US visa application.

Malkoun was arrested last Sunday when he attended a gun show and purchased three weapons: a Smith and Wesson 9 millimetre pistol; a Sig Sauer .45 calibre pistol; and a Colt model Mustang Pocket Light .38 calibre pistol.
He was visiting the US on a 90-day tourist visa, which made it illegal for him to buy the guns.

Malkoun has pleaded not guilty to a federal charge of possessing firearms while holding a US visa that did not allow him to do so and his trial is set for May 3.

On Friday, when he was refused bail, Malkoun appeared in the District Court in Phoenix in an orange prison jumpsuit, with ankles and wrists shackled.

Malkoun and his brother, Amad ''Jay'' Malkoun, were caught in 1988 with $5.5 million worth of heroin after raids in Melbourne and Perth.

They received 18-year prison sentences for what was regarded as Victoria's biggest drug smuggling syndicate at the time.

A former kick-boxer and strip club manager, Amad Malkoun was appointed president of the Comancheros bikie gang when they moved to Melbourne in 2009. He refused to comment about his brother's arrest when contacted by The Sunday Age yesterday.

In evidence presented in an Arizona court, Malkoun also allegedly tried to buy another gun with a laser sight and ''extended capacity magazine'' in a Mesa, Arizona, sports store.

After store employees refused to sell him the weapon because he had only Australian identification, he allegedly offered more money but was again refused, according to a US prosecutor. He then went to the store's car park and allegedly asked other shoppers if they would buy the gun for him.

Agents from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives first detected Malkoun at the gun show, and have launched an investigation into his movements in the US.

He is believed to have landed in Los Angeles on March 13 and travelled to Mexico for six days, before returning to the US in a rental car. He is understood to have been on the way to Las Vegas.

When arrested, he was carrying Victorian and New South Wales driver licences, which had different names, addresses and dates of birth.

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A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

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