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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Central District of California
E. Martin Estrada, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Koreatown Man Convicted in Scheme To Illegally Sell Firearms

LOS ANGELES – A federal jury today convicted a Los Angeles man of participating in a scheme that illegally sold 27 guns, including a “Glock switch” that converts a semiautomatic firearm to a machinegun.

Following a five-day trial, William Nirion Peña, 40, who resides in the Koreatown neighborhood, was found guilty of conspiracy to engage in the business of dealing in firearms without a license. The evidence presented at trial showed that Peña provided approximately 10 of the firearms and a substantial amount of ammunition that were sold by a co-conspirator to an undercover agent. The firearms included two silencers without serial numbers and the Glock switch.

A second defendant in this case – Ellourth Eladio Simon 32, of the Mid-City neighborhood of Los Angeles – pleaded guilty on May 25 to one count of engaging in the business of dealing firearms without a license and one count of possessing a machine gun. Simon specifically admitted engaging in eight illegal gun transactions, several of which involved multiple firearms, including a November 10, 2021, sale for $8,400 in which Simon sold an ATF undercover agent four handguns and a “ghost gun” AR-type rifle.

From at least September 2021 until late February 2022, Peña provided Simon with information about the prices and nature of numerous firearms – frequently sending photographs of firearms that Simon could sell to Simon’s gun customers.

“Peña and Simon frequently coordinated efforts to sell [guns to the undercover agent] by communication over the phone about the price and availability of firearms and firearms components, and arranging the logistics of specific sales to customers during evening transaction in supermarket parking lots and similar locations,” according to court documents. Evidence presented at trial indicated that Peña was obtaining firearms from sources in other states, primarily Arizona.

Peña is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge George H. Wu on September 18, at which time Peña will face a statutory maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.

Simon is scheduled to be sentenced on August 10. As a result of his guilty pleas, Simon faces a statutory maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated this matter. This case is the result of an investigation by the Los Angeles Firearms Trafficking Strike Force, which is spearheaded by the ATF and the United States Attorney’s Office.

Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Chou of the Violent and Organized Crime Section, along with other members of that section, are prosecuting this case.

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