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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
Thursday, March 7, 2024

Los Angeles Man Sentenced to Nearly 3 Years in Prison for Running Unlicensed Firearms Business and Possessing a Machine Gun

LOS ANGELES — A man from the mid-city area of Los Angeles was sentenced today to 33 months in federal prison for illegally selling more than two dozen firearms, including machine gun conversion devices – sometimes known as “switches” and “ghost guns,” or firearms that lack serial numbers.

Ellourth Eladio Simon, 33, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge George H. Wu.

Simon pleaded guilty in May 2023 to one count of engaging in the business of dealing firearms without a license and one count of possessing a machine gun.

From no later than September 2021 to January 2023, Simon repeatedly arranged illegal and unlicensed firearms deals. He admitted in his plea agreement to 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. Simon also admitted to unlawfully possessing a machine gun in October 2021.

Simon’s primary firearms source, William Nirion Peña, 41, of the Koreatown neighborhood of Los Angeles, was convicted of conspiracy to engage in the business of dealing in firearms without a license. Peña is serving a 40-month prison sentence in this case.

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 provided approximately 16 firearms and a substantial amount of ammunition that were sold by Simon to an undercover agent. The firearms included two silencers without serial numbers and a Glock switch. The government asserted that Simon also had other sources of the firearms that he sold to the undercover federal agent in the eight purchases.

“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.

“[Simon’s] criminal conduct was dangerous, long-standing and serious,” prosecutors argued in a sentencing memorandum. “[Simon] not only illegally sold large quantities of powerful handguns and rifles, and ammunition, but he also sold firearms silencers, items whose harmfulness and illegality were obvious on their face.”

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.

The Violent and Organized Crime Section prosecuted this case.


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