DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Central District of California

For Immediate Release

Friday, January 29, 2021

Burbank Man Arrested on Federal Complaint Alleging He Sold ‘Ghost Guns’ Out of His Hookah Lounge

LOS ANGELES – A hookah lounge owner was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint alleging that he illegally sold firearms – including several “ghost guns” – out of his business in downtown Los Angeles.

Hovik Dagesian, 39, of Burbank, has been charged with one count of possession of an unregistered firearm. He is expected to make his initial appearance on Monday in United States District Court.

According to an affidavit filed with the complaint on Thursday, on four occasions between October 30, 2020 and January 8, 2021, Dagesian illegally sold 10 firearms, including an AR-15-style short-barreled rifle with no serial number.

Dagesian does not have a federal firearms license and does not have any firearms registered to him, according to the affidavit, which further alleges that Dagesian sold other AR-15-style ghost guns – firearms that are made from component parts and do not have serial numbers – as well as a semiautomatic shotgun, a Tec-DC9 pistol and a vintage “Tommy Gun.”

Each of the illegal firearms sales allegedly occurred at Dagesian’s place of business, DTLA Hookah Lounge. During the execution of a search warrant today, law enforcement seized more than a dozen firearms from his business.

A complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

If convicted, Dagesian would face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

This matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Los Angeles Police Department.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregg E. Marmaro of the General Crimes Section.


Los Angeles Field Division