DOJ seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida

For Immediate Release

Monday, December 4, 2017
W. Stephen Muldrow
, United States Attorney
Contact: William Daniels

Jacksonville Man Charged with Illegal Possession of a Silencer

Jacksonville, Florida – Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announces the arrest and filing of a criminal complaint charging Bernandino Gawala Bolatete (69, Jacksonville) with knowingly receiving and possessing a silencer not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.
         
According to the criminal complaint, on November 27, 2017, Bolatete asked for assistance in purchasing a firearm silencer from an undercover detective from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. Bolatete specified that, to avoid government scrutiny, he did not want any paperwork associated with the sale. On December 1, 2017, Bolatete took possession of a silencer after the undercover detective sold it to him for $100 and he was subsequently arrested.
         
A criminal complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
         
This case was investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Substantial assistance was provided by the Office of the State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Coolican and Trial Attorney Maura White of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. 
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Field Division: Tampa Field Division