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Guns and mutton: Iowa's oldest halal food company falls under suspicion
by Ryan Schuessler
Born to a prominent family in Iowa's historic Arab-American community, Bill Aossey Jr. was the first Muslim to join the Peace Corps. In his youth, he visited more than 80 countries. He was once coach of Senegal's Olympic wrestling team. And in 1974, he founded one of America's first halal food production companies.
Now, at 73, Aossey, of Cedar Rapids, could find himself on another adventure: Serving time in federal prison.
Earlier this summer, Aossey was convicted of scheming to export falsely labeled halal products. His trial was complicated by a separate investigation, which revealed links to another Iowa family that tried to smuggle guns to Lebanon inside a shipping container owned by Aossey's company, Midamar Corp.
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