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Man caught with semi-automatic rifle, 150 rounds of ammo near Beaumont school pleads not guilty Thursday

Ahmed Abdalla Allam's defense attorney Ryan Gertz withdrew a request for a psychiatric evaluation. He believes his client is competent to stand trial.

BEAUMONT, Texas — A 26-year-old New York man has pleaded not guilty after being charged with having a gun and ammo near a Beaumont school. 

Ahmed Abdalla Allam, 26, was named in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury on Feb. 1, 2023, charging him with possession of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school zone.  

On Thursday, February 2, 2023, Allam was formally arraigned. 

On January 29, 2023, Beaumont Police received multiple calls about a suspicious vehicle around St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica School and Temple Emanuel. The callers said a man in a black Toyota Rav 4 with New York license plates was parked across the street and staying there for hours and even days at a time.

The driver of the vehicle was later identified as Allam, according to a probable cause affidavit. When asked to move, Allam would refuse and became confrontational at times.

When taken into custody, Allam was in possession of a semi-automatic rifle, a 30-round magazine and 150 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition.

The rifle was a Diamondback Firearms DB-15 5.56mm semi-automatic rifle according to a probable cause affidavit.

Allam's defense attorney Ryan Gertz withdrew a request for a psychiatric evaluation. He believes his client is competent to stand trial.

Gertz decided to consent for a detention hearing to see if Allam can be released on bond.

The hearing would consider if Allam is a flight risk or a danger to the community.

Allam has no prior criminal record.

If convicted, Allam faces up to 5 years in federal prison an a $250,000 fine. 

Police initially stopped Allam because the Toyota's back license plate was partially obscured by a plastic frame, which is a violation of the Texas Transportation Code.

Allam held his driver's license up to the window but refused to open his window, according the affidavit. The officer called for backup because Allam refused to roll down the window despite being asked multiple times to do so. 

When more officers arrived, they asked Allam to get out of the Toyota and Allam initially refused. After being told he was under arrest for the traffic violation, Allam got out of the SUV.

While searching the SUV, police found what they initially described as an "AR-15 type rifle" on the back passenger floorboard.

Officers also found a box of 5.56mm ammunition next to the rifle and a fully-loaded 30-round magazine, two additional boxes of 5.56mm rifle ammunition, and approximately .8 ounces of synthetic marijuana in a backpack.

Police want to assure the community that Allam poses no threat to the Southeast Texas community at this time.

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