For Immediate Release
Filipino National Admits Conspiring to Export Firearms Parts from the United States
CAMDEN, N.J. – A Filipino national today admitted his role in a conspiracy to smuggle more than $200,000 worth of firearms parts out of the United States, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Kirby Santos, 38, of the Republic of the Philippines, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman in Camden federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act and U.S. anti-smuggling laws.
According to the documents filed in this case, other cases and statements made in court:
Santos admitted that from 2008 through October 2013, he and conspirators he met in the Philippines or through an online forum agreed to ship firearms parts from the United States to the Philippines. Santos and others used credit cards and other forms of payment to purchase firearms parts from suppliers in the United States. Knowing that they would not ship to the Philippines, Santos arranged for the suppliers to send the firearms parts to the addresses of conspirators in Toms River, New Jersey, and Lynwood, Washington, in order to make the purchases appear as domestic sales.
At the direction of Santos, the conspirators, including Abelardo Delmundo, 53, of Toms River, New Jersey, would then repackage the firearms parts, falsely label the contents of the package and export the firearms parts to the Philippines for ultimate delivery to Santos. To disguise their role in the conspiracy, the conspirators used aliases when sending the packages containing prohibited items. Upon receiving the firearms parts, Santos paid Delmundo and other conspirators in the form of cash or wire transfers to others at their direction.
During the course of the nearly five-year long conspiracy, Santos and others purchased and directed the unlawful exportation of more than $200,000 worth of defense articles from the United States to the Philippines without the required export license.
Santos made his initial appearance in federal court on April 22, 2015, after being charged by criminal complaint with one count of conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act and U.S. anti-smuggling laws. Santos was arrested in Guam on March 31, 2015, by special agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations (DHS-HSI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
Delmundo pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy on Apr. 30, 2015 and is scheduled for sentencing on Dec. 10, 2015.
The conspiracy charge to which Santos pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 20, 2016.
The Arms Export Control Act prohibits the export of defense articles and defense services without first obtaining a license from the U.S. Department of State and is one of the principal export control laws in the United States.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of DHS-HSI Cherry Hill, New Jersey, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Kevin Kelly, and ATF special agents, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George P. Belsky, with the investigation leading to today’s plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew T. Smith of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden and Trial Attorney Nathan M. F. Charles of theNational Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.
Defense counsel: Timothy Anderson Esq., Red Bank, New Jersey