Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Los Angeles Field Division
At The Frontline Against Violent Crime
For Immediate Release
September 13, 2011
Contact: Special Agent Christian Hoffman, PIO
Office: (818) 265-2507
Cell: (213) 216-3622
California Resident Pleads Guilty to Furnishing False Statements to Obtain Firearms
LOS ANGELES — Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Los Angeles Field Division announced today Christopher Mathwig, 38, of Costa Mesa, Calif., pleaded guilty to furnishing false statements to acquire 40 firearms from another state. Mathwig also agreed to forfeit greater than 34 firearms he obtained illegally from Calvary Arms Corp. which ATF had seized in conjunction with his arrest and prosecution.
Mathwig’s guilty plea is a result of an investigation into Cavalry Arms Corp., initiated by ATF’s Los Angeles Field Division and prosecuted in the District of Arizona, and handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert K. Lu. Mathwig is scheduled to be sentenced on the charges in late November.
Shawn Nealon, a federal firearms licensee and owner of Cavalry Arms Corp., was sentenced to three years probation, 300 hours of community service, and a $10,000 fine after pleading guilty Feb. 18 for the illegal sale of firearms by a federally licensed firearms dealer to Mathwig, an out–of–state resident. Calvary Arms sold 36 firearms to Mathwig, which included AK–47 and AR–15 type rifles, shotguns and handguns even though they were aware he was an out of state resident.
ATF takes violations of the Gun Control Act very seriously, and will prosecute individuals, like Mathwig, who illegally acquire firearms, said John A. Torres Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Division of ATF.
His guilty plea is a result of an investigation which not only struck at the dealers involved in illegal firearms sales, but also targeted those recipients whose actions violated federal law.
ATF is the federal agency responsible for licensing persons engaged in manufacturing, importing, and dealing in firearms. FFLs are urged to comply with the Gun Control Act as well as local regulations in order to assist law enforcement in preventing the diversion of firearms from lawful commerce to the illegal market, ensuring successful tracing of firearms, and providing for the public’s safety.
In order to encourage compliance with federal law and fulfill its responsibility to the public, ATF will revoke FFLs in cases of willful violations of the law and regulations, intentional disregard for regulatory requirements, or knowing participation in criminal acts.
Anyone with information about firearms trafficking or the illegal possession of firearms is encouraged to call ATF at 1–800–ATF–GUNS (800-283-4867). Callers can remain anonymous.
More information about ATF and its programs is available at www.atf.gov.