• Man found in hotel room with ammunition was supposed to leave U.S.

    Updated:

    MELBOURNE, Fla. - A man was taken into federal custody Thursday on charges of possession of ammunition by an unlawful or illegal alien, according to the Department of Justice.
     
    Authorities said Hamid Rehaif, 24, who was in the country illegally, is being held without bail at the Seminole County Jail.
     
    Federal agents said Rehaif, a citizen of the United Arab Emirates, raised suspicions after he checked in and out of the Hotel Rialto in Melbourne throughout a 53-day period.
     
    Law enforcement agents said Rehaif paid more than $11,000 in cash for room fees.
     
    Court documents show that Rehaif mentioned that he had weapons in the room, and said he gave a hotel employee four rounds of ammunition.
     
    Federal agents said Rehaif admitted to having three weapons, but told them he had sold two of the weapons recently and given the third to his girlfriend.
     
    Court documents show that agents found 28 rounds of ammunition in his hotel room and 184 rounds of ammunition in a storage locker two miles away.

    The storage facility's manager turned in the ammunition to authorities once Rehaif stopped paying for the unit, documents said.

    Doug Torpy, the owner of Frogbones, a gun range in Melbourne, said Rehaif came into his business twice to fire handguns, the first time in October and most recently Dec. 2.
     
    Torpy said that the only documentation Rehaif needed in order to shoot in his facility was a hunting license, which he said Rehaif had. Agents said the hunting license was obtained from a Walmart.
     
    "He seemed to be of a pleasant demeanor. He check into the range, he wasn't doing anything weird or odd while he check in. He rented a gun. He bought the ammunition. He walked around a talked a little bit. He wasn't on a mission to get in there," Torpy said.
     
    Torpy said Rehaif bought ammunition from him.
     
    Torpy said he gave federal agents security video of Rehaif from the December visit, when he came in alone. He said Rahaif had two others with him when he came to the range in October.
     
    According to the complaint, Rehaif was admitted into the United States in 2013 under a student visa. He had been enrolled at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, but was terminated as a student in the fall of 2014.
     
    FIT officials said they alerted the federal government 10 month ago that Rehaif had flunked out of the school in December 2014.
     
    Authorities said that when Rehaif failed to leave the country within 30 days of his termination as a student, he became an unlawful alien.
     
    Rehaif is scheduled for a hearing in federal court on Monday.

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