Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Los Angeles Field Division
The Violent Crime Bureau
For Immediate Release
May 24, 2012
Contact: Special Agent Christian Hoffman, PIO
Office: (818) 265-2507
Cell: (213) 216-3622
ATF Undercover Operation in South Los Angeles County Recovers 6 Firearms
LOS ANGELES – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today announced the arrest of two defendants who were indicted on firearms violations after a six-month undercover investigation in the south Los Angeles County.
According to court documents, the ATF investigation began in May 2010 and targeted several individuals who were illegally selling firearms. During the course of the investigation, six firearms were purchased, including a machine gun, a sawed-off shotgun, and a stolen .50-caliber handgun. ATF undercover agents and a confidential informant working on behalf of ATF were able to infiltrate a group of criminals that were selling illegal firearms in Bellflower and Norwalk.
The following two defendants were arrested yesterday morning after being named in a federal criminal indictment. The third defendant, Gerardo Perez, was not located and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
- Francisco Jimenez, 22, of Bell Gardens;
- David Martinez, 28, of Norwalk; and
- Gerardo Perez, 27, of Bellflower (fugitive).
All three defendants are charged with conspiracy to engage in the business of dealing in firearms without a license, as well as engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license. Additionally, Jimenez is charged with possession of an unregistered firearm, namely, a short-barreled shotgun and weapon made from a shotgun. Perez and Martinez are charged with possession of an unregistered firearm, namely, a machine gun. Martinez is charged with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
If they are convicted of all counts in the indictment, Martinez would face a statutory maximum penalty of 40 years in federal prison, Jimenez and Perez could face a statutory maximum penalty as much as 20 years in prison.
The investigation was led by ATF with Task Force Officers from surrounding agencies.
A criminal indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The federal charges are being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office.
More information about ATF and its programs is available at www.atf.gov.