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Man Who Sold Gun Used In Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue Hostage Crisis Federally Charged

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The man who sold Malik Faisal Akram the gun he used to kidnap hostages in a Colleyville synagogue earlier this month was charged Tuesday, Jan. 25 via criminal complaint with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Henry "Michael" Williams, 32, made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Renée H. Toliver on Jan. 26. A detention hearing was set for Monday, Jan. 31.

Henry Dwight Williams Gun Sale Colleyville
Henry Dwight Williams' mugshot from Jan. 24 (credit: Dallas County Jail)

"Federal firearm laws are designed to keep guns from falling into dangerous hands. As a convicted felon, Mr. Williams was prohibited from carrying, acquiring, or selling firearms. Whether or not he knew of his buyer's nefarious intent is largely irrelevant — felons cannot have guns, period, and the Justice Department is committed to prosecuting those who do," said U.S. Attorney Chad E. Meacham. "We are grateful to the many officers and agents who sprang into action as soon as the synagogue hostage crisis began, and who worked tirelessly to track the weapon from Mr. Akram to Mr. Williams. The freed hostages, the Beth Israel congregation, and indeed the entire Jewish community deserve that support."

According to the complaint, Williams – a felon previously convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted possession of a controlled substance – allegedly sold Akram a semiautomatic Taurus G2C pistol on Jan. 13.

Two days later, on Jan. 15, agents recovered the gun from Colleyville's Congregation Beth Israel synagogue, where Akram had held four individuals hostage for several hours before he was fatally shot by federal law enforcement.

"The Dallas FBI Field Office and our partners have worked around the clock since January 15, 2022 to determine how Malik Faisal Akram acquired the weapon he used to terrorize worshipers at Colleyville's Congregation Beth Israel synagogue," said Dallas FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno. "Along with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners we pledge to continue our efforts to protect our communities from violence."

As part of its investigation into the hostage taking, the FBI tied Williams to Akram through an analysis of Akram's cell phone records, which showed the pair exchanged a series of calls from Jan. 11 through Jan. 13.

When agents first interviewed Williams on Jan. 16, he said that he recalled meeting a man with a British accent, but that he could not recall the man's name. (Akram was a British citizen.) Agents interviewed Williams again on Jan. 24, after he was arrested on an outstanding state warrant.

After viewing a photo of Akram, Williams confirmed he sold him the handgun at an intersection in South Dallas. Analysis of both men's cellphone records showed that the two phones were in close proximity on Jan. 13.

Williams allegedly admitted to officers that Akram told him the gun was going to be used for "intimidation" to get money from someone with an outstanding debt.

 

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