For Immediate Release
Orange County Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Brokering Illegal Sales of ‘Ghost Guns,’ Other Firearms
SANTA ANA, California – An Orange County man was sentenced today to 120 months in federal prison for selling narcotics and illegally brokering the sale of firearms – including several “ghost guns.”
Pedro Javier Villalobos, 24, of Santa Ana, was sentenced by United States District Judge David O. Carter. Villalobos pleaded guilty in October 2020 to one count of distributing methamphetamine and one count of engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license.
In the summer of 2019, Villalobos, who was not a federally licensed firearms dealer, brokered the sale of firearms to a customer, who was in fact an undercover agent. From August 21, 2019 to September 18, 2019, Villalobos brokered the sale of 15 firearms, including three AR-type rifles and several Glock-type .40-caliber pistols bearing no serial numbers. Villalobos also facilitated the sale of two Mossberg 12-gauge shotguns to the buyer.
Villalobos also sold a total of 367.8 grams of methamphetamine to a buyer on three occasions in August and September of 2019.
Villalobos was the lead defendant in an 11-count federal grand jury indictment unsealed in October 2019 that charged seven defendants with federal firearms offenses.
Prosecutors have secured five guilty pleas in this case so far. Frank Nerida, 50, of Garden Grove, was sentenced on January 25 to two years in federal prison. Jury trials are scheduled for February 23 and July 27, respectively, for the remaining two defendants – Jose Angel Vera, 28, of Santa Ana, and Kevan Ryan Perez, 33, also of Santa Ana.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Costa Mesa Police Department investigated this matter.
Assistant United States Attorney Anne C. Gannon of the Santa Ana Branch Office prosecuted this case.