Defense attorneys for the Halal meat exporter charged with fraud and conspiracy are upset because they say confidential attorney-client emails and other documents were swept up earlier this week when Midamar Corporation and two other locations in Cedar Rapids, IA, were raided by federal agents investigating an alleged gun-running scheme. In a motion filed with the U.S. District Court for Northern Iowa, defense attorneys are seeking a protective order for the seized documents. container_406x250“On May 12, 2015, federal agents, along with local law enforcement, executed a federal search warrant at three locations in the Cedar Rapids area. One of the locations searched was Midamar Corporation. During the search at Midamar, many items were seized,” read court documents filed by Chicago attorney Haytham Faraj. Faraj, who has represented Midamar since 2011, says that if the protective order is not granted, “the defendants will suffer irreversible and irreparable harm.” “Additionally, it is believed federal agents downloaded Midamar’s email servers. Within the servers are numerous emails containing attorney-client privileged information, including but not limited to: attorney impressions, work-product, outlines of motions, and theories of the case. “In addition to being a Halal exporter, Midamar is also a logistics company that exports to the international community. The search was connected to one of Midamar’s logistic clients, who are accused of illegally exporting firearms. Midamar had no knowledge of the contents in these shipments, and is in no way connected to the individuals accused,” the motion states. The gun-running raids did not result in any further charges against anyone with Midamar, but four of the company’s export customers are in jail pending a Friday hearing. Three U.S. citizens and one legal permanent resident were charged with conspiracy and shipping firearms without notifying the carrier of a firearms and ammunition shipment. Brothers Ali Herz, 50, and Bassem Herz, 29, along with Adam Herz, 22, and Sarah Zeaiter, 24, were jailed on the charges. According to Faraj, the four have no relationship to Midamar except for using its export services. Court documents so far have not disclosed who was receiving the guns, but suggest the activity might have pre-dated the Syrian civil war, which got underway in 2011. The four defendants were acquiring firearms legally from multiple fire arms dealer. One eastern Iowa dealer, however, became suspicious about the large purchases, including two incidents when the defendants bought out the shops entire stock of 5.7 mm ammunition. The dealer tipped off federal agents, who learned the purchases included special orders, such as enough parts to construct AR-15 assault rifles and a supply of collapsible butt stocks. Federal agents tracked the four defendants as they purchased 113 firearms worth about $100,000 over a 17-month period. The men also traveled often to the Middle East. Ali has re-entered the U.S. about 25 times, including a trip in late 2010 when he was carrying $61,400 in cash. Adam began taking trips in about 2003 and was detained for secondary questioning by border officials in both May 2012 and May 2014. The defendants were allegedly connected to a 2014 shipment of heavy equipment to the region. A container shipped by “Herz Enterprises” was opened on the docks at Norfolk, VA, and was reportedly found with firearms, parts, and 6,800 round of ammunition. The firearms were shipped with a piano, household supplies, honey, and clothing. Firearms were not shipped with original packing, but were put in plastic bags that were for use by the Pizza Daddy restaurant, according to officials. Midamar was involved in a clothing drive for “refugees from Syria and region stranded in Lebanon.” The exporter said it does not check the contents or prepare the bills of lading for shippers. Trials for three Midamar executives and two related companies on fraud and conspiracy, including selling misbranded and adulterated meat, are scheduled for July and September.