2 Gardena Police Officers Convicted of Operating Unlicensed Firearms Business

Two Gardena Police Officers Convicted of Operating Unlicensed Firearms Business, Selling Weapons to Convicted Felons.

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2 Gardena Police Officers Convicted of Operating Unlicensed Firearms Business

LOS ANGELES – -(AmmoLand.com)- Two Gardena California Police officers were found guilty by a jury today of federal criminal charges for scheming to purchase “off-roster” firearms not available to the general public and then illegally reselling the firearms for profit.

Carlos Miguel Fernandez, 44, of Norwalk, and Edward Yasushiro Arao, 49, of Eastvale, were found guilty of conspiracy to engage in the business of dealing firearms without a license and of substantive counts of engaging in an unlicensed firearms business. Fernandez also was convicted of an additional conspiracy count, selling firearms to a convicted felon, and of making false statements about the sales on federal firearms licensing paperwork.

According to evidence presented at their six-day trial, Fernandez, whose Instagram handle was “the38superman,” advertised firearms for sale – guns being offered by both himself, Arao and others – on his Instagram account. The vast majority of posts on the account contained images of firearms. Arao, who was the CEO of Ronin Tactical Group, which was a federal firearms licensee (FFL), similarly advertised off-roster guns on the company’s Instagram account that he then re-sold in his individual capacity. Additionally, both defendants marketed firearms at gun shows. Neither defendant was licensed individually to engage in the business of dealing in firearms when the illegal gun sales alleged in the indictment took place.

The evidence presented at trial demonstrated how the defendants exploited their position as police officers to ensure the success of their illegal gun selling business.

Specifically, Fernandez purchased “off-roster” firearms – mostly Colt .38-caliber handguns that were not available to the general public, but which could be legally purchased by law enforcement officers – and sold dozens of these weapons through private-party transfers.

Similarly, Arao obtained “off-roster” weapons by transferring them to himself individually from the inventory of Ronin Tactical Group. Through messages on Instagram and other means, Fernandez and Arao negotiated the prices and terms of firearm sales, and they accepted payment for the guns once they were delivered.

For example, between May 2016 and December 2017, Fernandez negotiated and arranged the sale of 10 firearms to a convicted felon, Oscar Maravilla Camacho Jr., 36, of Salinas. With respect to every sale, Fernandez communicated directly with Camacho Jr. about the firearms purchases and understood that Camacho Jr., as a felon, could not legally buy the weapons. Nevertheless, Fernandez transferred the weapons to Camacho Jr. in violation of federal law.

United States District Judge S. James Otero scheduled a March 2 sentencing hearing, at which time Fernandez will face a statutory maximum of 35 years in federal prison and Arao will face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

Six other defendants in this case have pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges for distribution of cocaine, conspiracy to dispose of firearms to a felon, and making false statements that led to the straw purchase of several firearms.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ( ATF )The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated this case. The Gardena Police Department provided its full cooperation during the investigation.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Katherine A. Rykken of the Major Frauds Section and Veronica Dragalin of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section.

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Will FlattWillTionicojack macJ.galt Recent comment authors
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Will Flatt
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So Ammoland shills for the BATFEces too… Were it not for these dirty cops selling to criminals, I’d say let them go and prosecute the politicians who passed all this unconstitutional BS. This came from a BATFE(ces) press release, the worst kind of antigun propaganda.

Will
Member
Will

@WF,abolish ATF !

Will Flatt
Member

Amen to that!

MICHAEL J
Member
MICHAEL J

What Roster are we talking about?
California handgun roster is gun control, but somehow it doesn’t apply to cops. A lot of good quality and desirable firearms are unavailable to the average person because the state says so.
Selling off roster guns are not necessarily crime scene weapons, because the state allows the selling of these guns through private party as long as it’s transferred thru a FFL. The state does not allow retail sales of off roster handguns, but allows Californian residents to sell within the state, no out of state purchases allowed. Like anything Californian, is subject to change.

Heed the Call-up
Member
Heed the Call-up

Nowhere in the story did it state these were crime guns, only “off-roster” firearms not available to be sold by FFLs to the general public. Even worse these two officers of the law (irony noted) knowingly sold firearms to a known felon. It was the fact that they were in the business of selling firearms without licensing, and selling firearms to a known felon that was the very disturbing part of this. The pathetic part is that there is a list of firearms that the “only ones’ can legally purchase from FFLs that the general public is barred from purchasing.… Read more »

JDC
Member
JDC

You have to read between the lines on this one…Arao was an FFL holder, so he could have legally sold the guns. He just chose not to. He had to know that as an FFL any gun you sell would be subject to scrutiny. Selling lots of guns off the books tells me that he and his “partner” were selling to criminals.

Unfortunately Bozos like this move us one step closer to universal background checks (which would have been useless, as they knew they were breaking the law already…what is breaking one more law to a criminal?)

Frdmftr
Member
Frdmftr

As a Constitutional scholar, I would like to know where the Constitution delegates to the federal government the lawful power to 1) license firearm dealers; 2) compel citizens to ask for revocable government-issued permission to exercise a right; 3) prosecute anyone for exercising their RIGHT to keep and bear arms, which includes the right to acquire, buy, sell, and dispose of firearms, or 4) compel citizens to give up any right as a precondition to being allowed to exercise any other right. The 10th Amendment establishes that if the power is not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution,… Read more »

J.galt
Member
J.galt

Dear Constituional Scholar……..try Art I, sec 8…….commerce clause………should have been 1st year con law.

Don’t get me wrong, I support your romantic idea but in answer to your question, that is where the fed gov derives it’s “lawfull/ legitimate” power.

Just say’n

Tionico
Member
Tionico

“Commerce clause”? You mean that basic simple little bit that got monumentally perverted by the Filburn case back in the late 1930’s? The court held, wrongly, that the task to”regulate commerce among the several states” meant that Mr. Filburn could not grow wheat in his own backyard to be kept ONLY for his personal use ON HIS PROPERTY because that wheat grown on HIS dirt MIGHT have prevented him from being forced to BUY wheat grown in someone ELSE”S backyard in a different state.. and thus the wheat grown in HIS backyard violated FedGov’s “duty” to”regulate” “interstate commerce”. And THAT… Read more »

Tionico
Member
Tionico

to answer your key question in brief, and completely: NOWHERE. Thats where FedGof OR states get their power to control/regulate/infringe upon ur RIGHT to arms. I do believe there is a basis in legitmiate law to deny those convicted of certain egregious violent crimes (murder, arson, etc) their right to arms…. but I also belive the best way of denying this right to them comes concurrent with the denial of many other rights.. such as to freely associate, travel, move about… in short, lock them up. As David Codrea so often and accurately uts it, if a man cannot be… Read more »

jack mac
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jack mac

JDC: The article referred to sales to a felon, not sales to a criminal. Citizens freed from felony convictions are prohibited persons, a free sub-citizen class established through law. By law these sub-citizen must be treated as such by all and failure to do so is grounds for conviction. This is exemplified in this presented case.

BigJim
Member
BigJim

Isn’t this why the founders wrote “shall not be infringed” because it was easy for everyone to understand. More laws=more problems.

Laddyboy
Member
Laddyboy

WOW!
SO this is what IS happening to all of the guns used but “NOT FOUND”: at shooting sites, gun confiscations, gun thefts and other LAW ENFORCEMENT INCIDENTS!

Heed the Call-up
Member
Heed the Call-up

They were selling “off-roster” firearms, not crime-scene firearms.