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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

ATF Press Release

For Immediate Release
@LosAngelesATF
Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Hemet Men Arrested on Complaint Alleging They Sold Firearms and Provided Pipe Bombs to Undercover Agents

LOS ANGELES – Two Riverside County men, each with prior felony convictions, have been arrested on a federal criminal complaint alleging firearms were sold and pipe bombs were provided to an undercover federal agent, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced today. 

Stanley Camarena, 29, and Manuel Perez, 52, both of Hemet, are charged in a criminal complaint unsealed today with one count of being felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. Camarena was arrested August 30 and Perez, his roommate, was arrested this morning. 

According to an affidavit filed with the complaint, from August 23 to August 30, Camarena and Perez sold several firearms and ammunition and provided six pipe bombs during three controlled purchases. Convicted felons are prohibited from possessing any firearms and ammunition. Camarena is a three-time convicted felon and Perez has seven felony convictions in his criminal history, the affidavit states.

On August 23, Camarena and Perez allegedly sold a .45-caliber pistol, a .762-caliber rifle, a semi-automatic rifle bearing no serial number, and an AR-style, privately manufactured firearm, bearing no serial number along with and approximately 590 rounds of ammunition to an ATF undercover operative. 

During the second controlled purchase on Monday Camarena and Perez allegedly sold the undercover operative two rifles, a shotgun, a .45-caliber pistol, and a privately made semi-automatic pistol, bearing no serial number. In the transfer, a pipe bomb was gifted to the undercover agent.  

Following the transfer, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Bomb Squad took custody of the pipe bomb. Members of the LAPD Bomb Squad used robotic assistance to examine the pipe bomb. They determined the fuse and material contained inside were energetic and capable of creating an explosion. The LAPD Bomb Squad rendered the pipe safe by detonation. Out of an abundance of caution and for the safety of the public, several buildings were evacuated and the closure of streets in downtown Los Angeles were closed near Figueroa and 8th streets. 

Yesterday, Camarena allegedly showed up for the third controlled firearm purchase with a female, two small children and a teenager. He sold the undercover operative three firearms including a privately made 9mm-caliber handgun bearing no serial number, a shotgun, and rifle, according to the affidavit. Camarena allegedly also bought and provided the undercover agent five completed pipe bombs wrapped in a towel. Camarena was arrested by ATF and LAPD at the scene. The LAPD Bomb Squad took custody of the five pipe bombs, to examine and render them safe by detonation.

Early this morning, a federal search warrant was served on the Hemet residence where both Perez and Camarena reside. Perez was arrested during the execution of the search warrant. Perez is expected to make his initial appearance in court tomorrow. A federal magistrate judge ordered Camarena jailed without bond and scheduled a September 20 arraignment.

If convicted, Perez and Camarena would face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. 

A complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This was an ATF-led investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenna Wrae Long from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

ATF recognizes the role firearms and explosives play in violent crimes and pursues an integrated regulatory and enforcement strategy. Investigative priorities focus on armed violent offenders and career criminals, narcotics traffickers, narco-terrorists, violent gangs, and domestic and international arms traffickers. For more information on ATF’s Los Angeles Field Division follow us on Twitter at @LosAngelesATF.

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