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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Central District of California
E. Martin Estrada, United States Attorney
Contact: Ciaran McEvoy,
For Immediate Release
Monday, February 5, 2024

Burbank Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Illegally Selling ‘Ghost Guns’ and for Possessing Methamphetamine

LOS ANGELES — A hookah lounge owner was sentenced today to 120 months in federal prison for illegally selling firearms — including several “ghost guns” — out of his business in downtown Los Angeles and for possessing with intending to distribute methamphetamine.

Hovik Dagesian, 42, of Burbank, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Mark C. Scarsi.

Dagesian pleaded guilty in September 2023 to one count of engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license and one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

From October 2020 to January 2021, Dagesian illegally sold 11 firearms — including firearms not bearing serial numbers, weapons that are commonly referred to as “ghost guns.” The firearms Dagesian illegally sold included a 12-gauge shotgun, an AR-15-type rifle with no serial number and a 9mm handgun. Dagesian also admitted to selling methamphetamine to a buyer on Oct. 30, 2020. The illegal firearm and drug sales took place at Dagesian’s hookah business in downtown Los Angeles.

In total, Dagesian sold $34,250 worth of firearms and methamphetamine to a buyer.

In January 2021, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Dagesian’s business. During the search, law enforcement seized 163.3 grams (5.8 ounces) of methamphetamine, a digital scale, approximately 215 rounds of ammunition and many firearms he was willing to sell, including a sawed-off shotgun.

Dagesian has never been licensed as a dealer, manufacturer or importer of firearms.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Los Angeles Police Department investigated this matter.

The International Narcotics, Money Laundering, and Racketeering Section prosecuted this case.


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