Los Angeles Field Division

Holtville Man Guilty of Illegally Purchasing Guns in Arizona and Selling Them in California

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SAN DIEGO – A Holtville man pleaded guilty to a firearms charge in federal court today, admitting that he fraudulently obtained an Arizona identification card in order to illegally purchase at least 54 firearms in that state and illegally transport them to California.

Scott Singh Dhalliwal admitted in his plea agreement that he illegally sold many of those weapons in California. He entered his plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen S. Crawford, who set sentencing for November 9, 2015.

Last Reviewed August 21, 2015

65 Mexican officials complete ATF fire and post-blast investigation training

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SAN DIEGO - The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) recently concluded a hybrid Fire-Dynamic and Post-Blast Investigative Techniques course. The weeklong course, demonstrating a systematic method of investigating fire and explosion scenes, was unique in its content as well as its student body of 65 firefighters and investigators representing federal, state and local public service agencies in Mexico.

Last Reviewed August 23, 2015

ATF to Conduct International Fire and Explosive Training

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SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - On Monday, July 27, 2015, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in conjunction with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) and San Diego Police Department (SDPD) will commence a one-week fire dynamics and post-blast explosives course designed for 65 state, local and federal investigators from Mexico. Attendees represent agencies from the northern border of Tijuana, Baja California, south to the resort city of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco.

Last Reviewed July 27, 2015

ATF Increases Reward In Armed Robbery Of Federal Firearms Licensee to $10,000.00

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Los Angeles — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in conjunction with the Azusa Police Department, are seeking the public’s assistance to identify the persons responsible for the May 24, 2015, armed robbery of Azusa Pawn, a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL), located in the 1000 block of West Gladstone Street in Azusa, Calif. There is a $10,000.00 reward offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects captured on store video surveillance footage.

Last Reviewed July 8, 2015

Federal Racketeering Indictment Targets Mexican Mafia-Orchestrated Coalition of Three Latino Street Gangs in Northeast Los Angeles

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LOS ANGELES – Federal, state and local authorities this morning arrested 15 defendants named in a federal racketeering indictment that describes the development and implementation of a coalition of three criminal street gangs in the Northeast Los Angeles area that were brought together under a truce ordered by a Mexican Mafia member for the purpose of controlling criminal activity in the neighborhoods where the trio of gangs operated

Last Reviewed June 19, 2015

ATF Offers $5,000.00 Reward In Armed Robbery Of Federal Firearms Licensee

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Los Angeles ? The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in conjunction with the Azusa Police Department, are offering a $5,000.00 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of suspects involved in the armed robbery of Azusa Pawn, a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL), located in the 1000 block of W. Gladstone Street in Azusa, California.

Last Reviewed June 9, 2015

Bonsall Man Pleads Guilty in Illegal Firearms Trafficking Operations

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NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – May 14, 2015

SAN DIEGO – Clay Bautista-Marquez of Bonsall pleaded guilty in federal court this morning to a firearms trafficking violation, admitting that he and a co-conspirator sold six untraceable AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles for almost $6,000, and that the guns had been built from unfinished lower receivers.

Last Reviewed May 19, 2015

Two Army-Reserve Soldiers Charged With Trafficking Firearms to an Undercover Agent Posing as A Member of A Mexican Cartel

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SAN DIEGO, CA – Two U.S. Army reservists were arrested and charged today with illegally selling firearms - including military-issued assault rifles, ammunition and protective body armor - to an undercover agent posing as a member of a Mexican drug cartel.

Last Reviewed May 6, 2015

More Than 50 Guns Seized and Four Men Charged in Illegal Firearms Trafficking Operation

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SAN DIEGO – Four men appeared in federal court today and yesterday to face charges that they participated in a scheme to manufacture and traffic in firearms illegally, in some instances by assembling untraceable assault-style weapons in a defendant’s home and then selling the guns for thousands of dollars.

Last Reviewed May 5, 2015

Former UPS Driver Who Stole Guns, Jewelry and Phones Being Shipped is Found Guilty of Federal Weapons Charges

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RIVERSIDE, California – A former United Parcel Service driver was found guilty today of federal gun trafficking charges for stealing dozens of guns going through the shipping company’s Ontario hub and providing them to another man who sold the weapons on the street.

Curtis Ivory Hays II, 37, of Rancho Cucamonga, was convicted of firearms and other offenses following a six-day trial in United States District Court.

Last Reviewed May 6, 2015

Attorney Who Helped Owner of Marijuana Stores Launder Illegal Proceeds Pleads Guilty in Federal Money Laundering Case

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SANTA ANA, California – An attorney who engaged in a conspiracy that allowed the owner of a chain of marijuana stores to hide some of his income has pleaded guilty to federal financial offenses.

Guilty pleas by Richard C. Brizendine, 59, of Long Beach, were entered Monday by United States District Judge James V. Selna. Monday’s action concludes proceedings in which Brizendine pleaded guilty to two counts: money laundering and conspiracy to structure cash deposits to avoid federal reporting requirements.

Last Reviewed April 24, 2015

Man Sentenced to Almost Six Years in Prison for Smuggling Assault Weapons to Cartel Members in Mexico; Gun Prosecutions Up 111 Percent in San Diego and Imperial Counties

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NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – December 18, 2014

SAN DIEGO – Sergio Garcia-Rico, a disabled Chula Vista man who illegally purchased assault weapons in the U.S. and then smuggled them across the border to the Knights Templar drug cartel in Mexico, was sentenced in federal court today to 70 months in prison.

Last Reviewed May 5, 2015

Multi-Agency Investigation into East L.A. Street Gang Results in Federal RICO Indictment that Charges 38 Gangsters

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LOS ANGELES – A task force investigation into the street gang that has terrorized the Ramona Gardens housing complex in Boyle Heights for decades has resulted in a federal racketeering indictment and the arrest this morning of 25 members and associates of the criminal enterprise. During a law enforcement operation this morning, approximately 800 agents and officers targeted Big Hazard, a multi-generational street gang that has brought murder, extortion, robbery and other crimes to Boyle Heights for the past 70 years.

Last Reviewed May 5, 2015

ATF National Response Team Activated To Investigate Apartment Fire in Downtown Los Angeles

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LOS ANGELES – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) National Response Team (NRT) are responding to the Los Angeles area to join in the investigation of a fire that occurred at 900 West Temple Street in downtown Los Angeles. The team will join the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) and Los Angeles ATF agents who have been on scene since early this morning. Assistant Special Agent in Charge John D’Angelo and Team Supervisor Daniel Heenan will lead the ATF effort.

Last Reviewed May 14, 2015

52 Members and Associates of San Bernardino Street Gang Targeted in Federal Drug Trafficking Indictment

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RIVERSIDE, California – After a federal grand jury issued a 90-page indictment, federal and state authorities today arrested 21 of 52 defendants linked to San Bernardino's largest gang on narcotics-trafficking charges that allege numerous transactions involving methamphetamine and heroin.

Last Reviewed April 24, 2015

Owner of La Habra Manufacturing Firm Charged with Illegally Manufacturing and Selling Key Component for AR-15-Type Rifles

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LOS ANGELES – A federal grand jury today indicted the owner of an Orange County manufacturing business on a federal charge related to the illegal manufacture and sale of lower receivers for AR-15-type rifles, as well as completed firearms.

The one-count indictment charges Joseph Roh with engaging in the business of manufacturing and dealing in firearms without a license, a felony offense that carries a statutory maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

Last Reviewed April 24, 2015

Owner of La Habra Manufacturing Firm Charged with Illegally Manufacturing and Selling Key Component for AR-15-Type Rifles

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LOS ANGELES – A federal grand jury today indicted the owner of an Orange County manufacturing business on a federal charge related to the illegal manufacture and sale of lower receivers for AR-15-type rifles, as well as completed firearms.

The one-count indictment charges Joseph Roh with engaging in the business of manufacturing and dealing in firearms without a license, a felony offense that carries a statutory maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

Last Reviewed April 24, 2015

Desert Hot Springs Man Who Planted Pipe Bombs Near Ex-Girlfriend’s Residence Sentenced to 72 Months in Prison for Explosives Charge

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RIVERSIDE, California – A man who left pipe bombs in a residential neighborhood in Palm Springs near the residence of an ex-girlfriend was sentenced today to 72 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession of an unregistered destructive device.

Edward Allen Costa, 49, who resided in Desert Hot Springs but was a fugitive for a time last year, was sentenced by United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips.

Last Reviewed May 6, 2015

UPS Driver Accused of Stealing Guns from the Shipper and Giving Firearms to Associate for Sale on Streets

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RIVERSIDE, California – A United Parcel Service driver was arrested this afternoon on federal gun trafficking charges for allegedly stealing dozens of guns going through the shipping company’s Ontario hub and providing them to an associate who sold the weapons in underground transactions.

Curtis Hays, 36, of Rancho Cucamonga, was arrested without incident by special agents with the ATF. Hays is expected to be arraigned this afternoon in United States District Court.

Last Reviewed May 14, 2015

Abby

ATF K-9 Abby is a Search Enhanced Evidence K-9 (S.E.E.K) trained Explosives Detection Canine (EDC), and is part of the first S.E.E.K. class trained and certified by ATF to operated off-leash. K-9 Abby came to ATF from a local vendor and she has the ability to search specific targets (i.e., vehicles, luggage) at up to 150 meters. Once at the target, she can be directed using hand and whistle signals to search the target for explosives and/or firearms. If she detects explosives and/or firearms she will alert her handler by sitting.

Last Reviewed April 22, 2015

Junior

K-9 Junior is an ATF Explosives Detection Canine (EDC) assigned to the Los Angeles Field Division. His job is to find explosives, guns and ammunition.

During a multi-agency drug trafficking investigation, the armed suspect was aware that one of the surveillance vehicles was following him as he drove southbound on a freeway. The suspect proceeded to call his friend and tell him that he was being followed. He also told his friend that he did not want to get caught with a gun so he was going to throw it out the window.

Last Reviewed April 10, 2015

Cassie

K-9 Cassie was born in Castine, Maine, and raised by a puppy raiser for the Susquehanna Service Dogs, an organization that provides assistance K-9s to those with disabilities. Cassie was deemed not suitable to be a service K-9, and was then evaluated by ATF K-9 trainers. She was accepted into the ATF Explosive Detection Canine (EDC) program. K-9 Cassie went through her 16-week training program and deployed to work with her Special Agent Canine Handler (SACH) Brooks Jacobsen in 2013.

Last Reviewed April 10, 2015

Man Who Conspired with Female Friend to Solicit ‘Hit Man’ to Kill Her Daughter’s Boyfriend Sentenced to 7 Years in Federal Prison

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SANTA ANA, California – A Hawthorne man who pleaded guilty in a murder-for-hire scheme targeting a man who was dating the daughter of his co-conspirator was sentenced today to seven years in federal prison.

Antonio Quevedo, 35, was sentenced by United States District Judge Josephine L. Staton.

The second defendant in the case – Adelina Cristobal, 56, of Lawndale, who also pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to use interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire – is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Staton on January 31.

Last Reviewed April 24, 2015