DOJ seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Monday, March 12, 2018
Nicola T. Hanna
, United States Attorney
Contact: Thom Mrozek

L.A. Man Sentenced to nearly 4 Years in Federal Prison for Illegally Manufacturing Assault Rifles and Silencers He Intended to Sell

LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles man who admitted he illegally manufactured and sold firearms – specifically short-barreled AR-15-style assault rifles and silencers – was sentenced this afternoon to 46 months in federal prison.
Axel Fernando Galvez, 37, who resides in Watts, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Christina A. Snyder.
Once he completes the prison term, Galvez will be on supervised release for three years, during which time he will be subject to search at any time by law enforcement authorities. Judge Snyder also ordered Galvez to pay a $12,500 fine.
Galvez pleaded guilty in December to two counts of unlicensed manufacturing and dealing in firearms. When he pleaded guilty, Galvez admitted that he purchased firearm components from different sources to disguise the quantity he was buying. Galvez then finished the parts and assembled the assault rifles at a South Los Angeles machine shop where he worked.
On August 28, 2017, Galvez sold five of these assault rifles, through an intermediary, to an undercover operative with the United States Postal Inspection Service. Galvez believed that the undercover operative was a convicted felon and was going to resell the weapons in Egypt and the Philippines.
In further discussions with the undercover operative, Galvez negotiated the sale of another 100 homemade assault rifles, offering a bulk discount.
Galvez also admitted in court that he manufactured five silencers for firearms.
A second man charged as a result of this investigation – Marcos Ernesto Chavarria, 31, of Inglewood – previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute methamphetamine. Judge Snyder is scheduled to sentence Chavarria also on April 2, at which time he will face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
During the investigation into Galvez, the Postal Inspection Service worked jointly with the Los Angeles Police Department Parcel Task Force. The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as the Los Angeles Joint Regional Intelligence Center, provide substantial assistance.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Brown of the Major Frauds Section.
Field Division: Los Angeles Field Division