Editors Note: The following press release is directly from ATF. Regular readers of AmmoLand News know our stance on the unaccountable Federal Agency: No comment. We invite our readers to leave their hard-hitting insights in the comments below.
LOS ANGELES – -(Ammoland.com)- Three men were arrested on drug and firearms charges stemming from a six-month firearms investigation in South Los Angeles that netted 22 guns.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), along with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Metropolitan Division’s Crime Impact Team (CIT), targeted individuals making Glock-style pistols and AR-style rifles and selling them without a license. Beginning in February 2020, law enforcement began purchasing firearms from the individuals in controlled purchases.
Fredi Castillo-Vega, aka “Listo” or “Fredy Vega,” 30, of Los Angeles, and Dallas Clavelle aka “Kash”, 23, of Los Angeles, were charged by a federal grand jury with the distribution of methamphetamine, engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license, possession of machineguns, possession of unregistered firearms, possession of firearms without serial numbers, and felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Rodney Hall, 60, of Los Angeles, was charged by Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office with sales of a controlled substance. Jorge Padilla, 27 of Los Angeles, was charged by the state with sale of an assault weapon. Louis Soloman, 25, of Long Beach, was charged by the state with felon in possession of a firearm.
Throughout the firearms investigation, the defendants allegedly sold weapons and narcotics to undercover operatives, including:
|Feb. 26, 2020||Castillo-Vega and Clavelle||Two 9 mm pistols and an AR-type privately made firearm commonly referred to as a “ghost gun”|
|March 11, 2020||Castillo-Vega and Clavelle||A Glock-type, ghost gun pistol; .380-caliber pistol; AR-type, ghost gun pistol; and an AK-type rifle|
|July 2, 2020||Castillo-Vega||9 mm pistol; 12-guage shotgun; and a 22LR pistol|
|July 9, 2020||Castillo-Vega||Three Glock-type, ghost gun pistols and 196 grams of methamphetamine|
|July 15, 2020||Castillo-Vega||Two AR-type, ghost gun rifles; and a 12-gauge shot gun|
|Aug. 4, 2020||Soloman||AR-type, ghost gun pistol; 45-caliber pistol; and a Glock-type, ghost gun pistol|
|Aug. 5, 2020||Clavelle||AR-type, ghost gun rifle|
|Aug. 5, 2020||Padilla||AR-type, ghost gun rifle; two high-capacity AR magazines; double drum AR-type magazine; 20 rounds of .223-caliber ammunition|
|Aug. 19, 2020||Clavelle||.40-caliber pistol|
|Aug. 19, 2020||Hall||234 grams of methamphetamine|
According to the grand jury indictment, in March and July, 2020 Castillo-Vega possessed a machinegun, specifically a conversion device known as a “Glock switch” that is designed and intended solely and exclusively for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun. In July 2020, Castillo-Vega also was in possession of an AR-type, ghost gun rifle, and a short-barreled rifle without serial numbers that had not been registered per the National Firearms Act.
The indictment states that on Aug. 19, 2020, Clavelle possessed a .40-caliber pistol and more than 50 rounds of ammunition.
Federal law requires individuals who are engaged in the business of dealing in firearms be licensed by ATF. Dealing in firearms without a license is a federal felony punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine up to $250,000, or both.
Soloman and Castilla-Vega are fugitives and are still being sought by law enforcement.
This matter was investigated by the ATF with the Los Angeles Police Department – Metropolitan Division – ATF Task Force, Crime Impact Team (CIT) providing assistance. The federal case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
For more information, follow ATF LAFD on Twitter @LosAngelesATF.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
ATF is the federal law enforcement agency responsible for investigating violations of federal firearms and explosives laws and regulations. More information about ATF and its programs can be found at www.atf.gov.