Four men charged after September 2023 traffic stop in Franklin County with international firearms trafficking

UPDATES: This all comes after King-Mclean was charged with 65 felonies of illegal firearms possession as well as numerous other charges. Full details on the traffic stop can be found HERE.

17 April 2024- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Durante King-Mclean, age 25, Prasath Paramalingam, age 34, Archit Grover, age 36, all of Brampton, Ontario, Canada, and Jalisa Edwards, age 25, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, were charged in a multi-count federal indictment with charges stemming from a conspiracy to engage in international firearms trafficking.  

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, the indictment alleges that King-Mclean was stopped by Pennsylvania State Police on September 2, 2023, in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, after several motor vehicle violations were observed. It is further alleged that King-Mclean, who was illegally in the United States from Canada, fled on foot when troopers discovered firearms in the rental vehicle. A court authorized search warrant for the vehicle led to the recovery of 65 firearms that were allegedly destined to be illegally smuggled into Canada. Two of those firearms were fully automatic and considered machine guns under federal law. Eleven of the firearms were determined to be stolen, and one firearm had an obliterated serial number.

The indictment further alleges that Paramalingam was involved in the conspiracy since April 2023 with persons known and unknown to the grand jury, including King-Mclean, to arrange for King-Mclean’s illegal entry into the United States. While King-Mclean was in the United States, Paramalingam allegedly arranged funding for King-Mclean to purchase the various firearms which he obtained in Florida, Georgia and elsewhere as King-Mclean traveled back towards Canada and through Franklin County. Grover and Edwards were charged by the grand jury as accessories after the fact for their alleged assistance to King-Mclean after his arrest to conceal evidence concerning his attempted gun smuggling and provide co-conspirators with information regarding the scope of the investigation, among other things.

“ATF’s highest priority is reducing violent gun crime, and firearms trafficking feeds that crime by putting guns in the hands of violent criminals and other prohibited people,” said Eric J. DeGree, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Philadelphia Field Division. “Far from being a victimless crime, trafficking presents a grave threat to public safety across our nation and to our neighbors. Thanks to our cooperative efforts, this action has kept 65 firearms off the street — preventing them from being used in any number of killings and other crimes – and ended this international firearms trafficking scheme. ”

“International arms trafficking greatly endangers citizens of both countries,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge of HSI Philadelphia Sara C. Bay. “HSI is proud to be on the front lines against the crime and devastation that illegal weapons bring to the cities in which they are used. We will continue to use our global reach and cooperate with our law enforcement partners to combat transnational weapons trafficking.”

“This indictment is the result of outstanding pro-active enforcement by our Patrol Troopers, which led to a larger successful inter-agency investigation,” said Major Serell Ulrich, Director, Pennsylvania State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigation.  “Illegal firearm trafficking has no boundaries, and we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners both federally and internationally to mitigate this worldwide problem.  Anytime illegal firearm trafficking affects our Commonwealth, the Pennsylvania State Police will strive to identify, investigate, and arrest those responsible.”  

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – Harrisburg Office, the Pennsylvania State Police, and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).  Assistant United States Attorney William A. Behe is prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

This prosecution is also part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF).  OCDETF is a joint federal, state, and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets. 

All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.