Making Immigration Happen
Chicago Woman Arrested for Selling Fraudulent Identity Documents to Illegal Aliens
A woman was arrested Wednesday, February 13, 2013, on charges she allegedly sold fraudulent identity documents to illegal aliens. These charges resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigra

Tag Archives: firearms

Four Men Arrested and Charged with Drug and Firearm Offenses

Federal criminal complaints filed in the District of Maryland charge four men, initially arrested and charged in Worcester County,Md., with gun and drug violations. The charges follow an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Maryland State Police (MSP), Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, the Berlin Police Department and the Ocean City Police Department with the assistance of the Worcester County State’s Attorney Office.

Tony Lamont Mills, 32, of Berlin,Md., has been charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin and possession of a firearm by a felon. The second criminal complaint charges Ramon M. Diamos, 47, and Arlon J. Macatangay, 51, both of Jersey City, N.J., and Ricky Ibanga, 38, of Bayonne, N.J., with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute in excess of 50 grams of crystal methamphetamine.

The State’s Attorney for Worcester County Beau Oglesby said, “I applaud the combined efforts of Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, the Maryland State Police, the Ocean City Police Department, the Berlin Police Department, ATF and HSI for their investigations in these cases. The adoption of these cases by the United States Attorney’s Office demonstrates the strength of the relationship between local and federal authorities as we work together to pursue the eradication of controlled dangerous substances from our streets and to remove the criminals who are armed with illegal firearms from our communities.”

According to Mills’ criminal complaint, on at least two occasions in August 2012, an undercover police detective conducted two hand to hand purchases of heroin from Mills after meeting Mills in his vehicle. On Aug. 31, 2012, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Mills’ residence and discovered Mills hiding in a bedroom closet, where officers also located a loaded .32 caliber revolver and a box of .32 caliber ammunition. During the search, officers also recovered heroin, marijuana and drug packaging material.

Mills faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for possession with intent to distribute heroin and up to life in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Mills also had an initial appearance Feb. 13 in U.S. District Court in Baltimore and is detained.

According to the statement of facts filed in support of the arrest of Diamos, Macatangay and Ibanga, the three were pulled over by a MSP trooper on Route 13, near the Virginia state line for a traffic stop. The trooper learned that Diamos was wanted on a New Jersey warrant and he was subsequently arrested. A clear glass pipe and a small amount of methamphetamine were recovered from Diamos’ front pants pocket. During a subsequent search of the car, the trooper discovered a manilla envelope that contained 240 grams of crystal methamphetamine and a receipt in Macatangay’s name. Macatangay and Ibanga were then arrested and additional methamphetamine was recovered from Macatangay’s jacket pocket.

Diamos, Macatangay and Ibanga face a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Diamos, Macatangay and Ibanga had an initial appearance Feb. 13 in U.S. District Court inBaltimoreand are detained. Ibanga is scheduled for a detention hearing Feb. 15.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael C. Hanlon and Christopher J. Romano.

A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

4 Arrested for Conspiracy to Sell Alleged Hussein Family Firearms

Four men, including two New Jersey residents, were arrested Thursday, December 20, 2012, and charged with conspiring to sell seven stolen firearms believed to have belonged to the family of Saddam Hussein, the late Iraqi president.  The arrests and joint investigation were conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

The following four men were charged with one count each of conspiracy to transport stolen firearms and conspiracy to sell and receive stolen property:  David Phillip Ryan, 48, of Miami,Fla.; Karlo Christian Sauer, 42, of Pittsburgh,Pa.; Howard A. Blumenthal, 74, of Fort Lee,N.J.; and Carola M. Quirola, aka Carlos Quirola-Ordonez, 55, of New Milford,N.J. Ryan is also charged with one count of unlawfully mailing firearms. Blumenthal and Quirola made their initial court appearances Thursday, December 20, 2012, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court. Ryan made his initial appearance in federal court in the Southern District of Florida; and Sauer made his in the Western District of Pennsylvania.

“Trading another country’s cultural treasures or artifacts is a major crime that HSI actively investigates,” said Andrew McLees, special agent in charge of HSI Newark. “In this case, we are talking about the weapons of a dictator who brought untold suffering during his reign.  These weapons are not for sale to the highest bidder, and HSI, along with our law enforcement partners, have taken the appropriate steps to return these properties to their rightful owners.”

According to court documents, in April 2012, law enforcement received information that valuable firearms allegedly belonging to members of the family of the late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein were available for sale (“Hussein Family Firearms”). The Hussein Family Firearms were believed to be kept in Florida, and attempts were made to find a buyer for the weapons in New Jersey.

The federal investigation revealed that the four defendants worked together to try to find a buyer for the Hussein Family Firearms in New Jersey. The firearms had been appraised at $250,000 to $350,000. During the course of the conspiracy, seven firearms were shipped to New Jersey for viewing by potential buyers.

Federal law enforcement officers seized the following firearms during the investigation:

  • One Coonan Arms Inc., .357-caliber semi-automatic pistol, nickel finish, made in St. Paul, Minn., with gold inlay and a medallion “QS” on left side grip (believed to be the initials of Qusay Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti, the second son of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein).
  • One Korth, .357 magnum revolver (six shot) stamped “Made in W. Germany Waffenfabrik Koth Ratzeburg/LBG,” with gold inlay, black finish, wood grips, which displays a drawing of a wild boar.
  • One Korth, .357 magnum, revolver (six shot) stamped “Made in W. Germany Waffenfabrik Koth Ratzeburg/LBG,” with gold inlay, black finish, wood grips, which displays a drawing of a moose.
  • One Chinese State Factories type 64 pistol, .32-caliber semi-auto pistol, black finish, with Yemen flag icon on both sides of grip and Arabic writing on the slide.
  • Two Cosmi, 12-gauge shotguns, break top, single barrel.
  • One Llama Semiautomatic .45-caliber ACP pistol with gold leaf and gold inlays, hand engraved, bearing the initials “Q.S.”

The counts with which the four defendants are charged are punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The unlawful mailing count, which Ryan is additionally charged with, is punishable by a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Texas Gun Store Owner and Wife Arrested for Illegally Selling Firearms and Ammunition to Mexico

A local gun store owner and his wife were arrested Monday, August 20, 2012, after an 11-count  federal indictment charged them with illegally selling firearms and ammunition  they knew were destined for Mexico,  announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas. This investigation is being led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with the assistance of the Bureau of  Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Robert Jacaman Sr. and his wife, Veronica Jacaman, were arrested Aug. 20 at their residence without incident. The couple is expected to make their initial appearances Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Diana Song Quiroga, at which time the United States will seek their continued detention pending further criminal proceedings.

During the enforcement action on Monday, August 20, special agents executed search warrants at the couple’s residence and businesses, Jacaman Guns and Ammo at 504 E. Calton Road in Laredo, and A-Frame 4 You, which is adjacent to the gun store.

“Today’s arrests demonstrate our ongoing commitment to identifying  and arresting anyone who smuggles firearms or ammunition into Mexico,” said Jerry Robinette, special agent in charge of HSI San Antonio. “HSI investigates and dismantles organizations that smuggle firearms  and ammunition to organized criminals in Mexico.”

According  to court documents, the sealed indictment returned Aug. 14 was automatically unsealed following the the arrests of Aug. 20 arrests by HSI and ATF officers with the assistance of local law enforcement. The 11-count indictment charges the Jacamans with conspiring to provide and providing ammunition and firearm magazines for smuggling into Mexico, selling ammunition to illegal aliens and to a convicted felon, and selling an assault rifle to a convicted felon.

The  investigation revealed that from about January to July 2012 the Jacamans allegedly conspired with each other to acquire large quantities of ammunition and high-capacity firearms magazines for sale and delivery to others knowing they were intended to be illegally exported to Mexico. Both are also charged with four counts of illegally selling ammunition, and one count of illegally selling a firearm to a prohibited person. Specifically, the indictment alleges that the Jacamans unlawfully sold the following items:

  • thousands of rounds of .223-caliber ammunition to an illegal alien,
  • 1,000 rounds of .223-caliber and 1,000 rounds of 7.62x39mm ammunition to an alien admitted into the United States under a non-immigrant visa,
  • two instances of selling hundreds of rounds of .223-caliber ammunition to a convicted felon, and
  • a CMMG, Model 4SA, semi-automatic rifle to a convicted felon.

Included in the indictment are also two charges of illegally exporting ammunition and three counts of illegally exporting firearm magazines to include more than 10,000 rounds of 7.62x39mm, 28,000 rounds of .223-caliber ammunition, and 788 high-capacity assault-rifle magazines. The indictment charges the Jacamans with facilitating the sale of such items knowing they were intended to be illegally exported Mexico.

Law enforcement intercepted all firearms, ammunition and magazines referenced in the indictment before they could be delivered to Mexico.

If convicted of the conspiracy charge, the Jacamans each face up to five years in prison, and a maximum of 10 years in prison for each count of illegal sale and illegal export. All charges also carry a possible fine of up to $250,000 on  each count.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Homero Ramirez, Southern District of Texas is prosecuting the case.

One of HSI’s top priorities is dismantling organizations involved in smuggling firearms to Mexican drug cartels. The collective expertise and authorities of our law enforcement partners during this investigation significantly contributed to preventing hundreds of rifles and handguns from reaching violent criminal organizations and pursuing prosecution for those charged.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process  of law.

Texan’s Illegal Exporting of Firearms Causes Agent’s Death

On January 30, 2012, a Baytown, Texas, man was sentenced to eight years and four months in federal prison for illegally exporting firearms, one of which was used to murder an ICE special agent in 2011. This sentence was announced by: U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas, Special Agent in Charge Robert Rutt with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Houston and Acting Special Agent in Charge Gary Orchowski of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Manuel Gomez Barba, 30, pleaded guilty to one count of exporting firearms on October 31, 2011. On January 30, he was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes to 100 months imprisonment which is to run consecutively with a 108-month sentence he received for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine in a case prosecuted by the Eastern District of Texas.

Barba could not legally buy firearms due to being on deferred adjudication for two felony drug offenses from Harris County, Texas. Instead, Barba recruited individuals, known as straw buyers, to buy numerous AK-47-type semi-automatic firearms. Barba informed the buyers that the firearms would not be traced back to them since the serial numbers would be obliterated before sending them to Mexico. Once the straw buyers bought the firearms and transferred them to him, Barba facilitated the transfer of the weapons to individuals who transported them to Mexico for use by the Zetas Drug Cartel.

One of the firearms which Barba facilitated to Mexico was used by the Zetas in a shooting on February 15, 2011, which resulted in the death of HSI special agent Jaime Zapata and serious wounding of a second HSI special agent. It was determined through ballistic testing of the shell casings and the raising of the obliterated serial number that one of the firearms used in the shooting was bought at J&J’s Pawn Shop in Beaumont, Texas. Once bought, the firearm, along with nine other guns, were transferred to Barba to be exported to Mexico. In total, Barba, who did not have a license to export firearms, was responsible for exporting 44 firearms to Mexico.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Lowery, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted the case.

Man mails AK-47 instead of T-shirts

Yesterday, in federal court in St. Paul, a 30-year-old Minneapolis man pleaded guilty to smuggling AK-47 components to Paraguay. Fabian Patricio Lojano-Lojano pleaded guilty to one count of smuggling goods from the United States. Lojano-Lojano, who was charged on October 12, 2011, entered his plea before U.S. District Court Judge Richard H. Kyle.

In his plea agreement, Lojano-Lojano admitted that on June 23, 2010, he dropped off a package at a United Parcel Service (“UPS”) station in Minneapolis. Lojano-Lojano said the package contained T-shirts, but in actually it contained parts for AK-47 rifles. On July 1, 2010, UPS received additional packages from Lojano-Lojano. The destination addresses on those packages were the same as the previous package, in Paraguay, although, in this instance, Lojano-Lojano used a false name and return address on the packages. These packages also contained parts for six AK-47 rifles. In all, Lojano-Lojano admitted sending packages to the same individuals in Paraguay on 46 prior occasions between September of 2009 and June of 2010. At least ten firearms were ultimately provided to the addressee in Paraguay through this process. On May 18, 2011, authorities executed a search warrant at Lojano-Lojano’s residence and seized two boxes containing M4 and AK-47 parts and accessories.

For his crime, Lojano-Lojano faces a potential maximum penalty of ten years in prison. Judge Kyle will determine his sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled. This case is the result of an investigation by ATF, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven L. Schleicher and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Colin P. Johnson.