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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Florida
For Immediate Release
Juan Antonio “Tony” Gonzalez, United States Attorney
www.justice.gov/usao-sdfl
Friday, January 28, 2022

South Florida Federally Licensed Gun Shop Owner and Employee Charged With Illegal Sale of Unregistered Fully Automatic Short-Barreled Rifles and Other Firearms

Miami, Florida -- Miami federal prosecutors have charged the owner of a South Florida federally licensed gun shop, along with another of the shop’s operators, with various federal firearms crimes relating to illegal cash sales of unregistered machine guns, silencers, and other devices.

Defendant Manuel Reguiera, 50, owns Miami Gun Shops, Inc, a federally licensed firearms store, and operates it with Defendant Anderson Rabel, 38.  According to the criminal complaint affidavit, on different dates from November 2021 to January 2022, defendants stored, sold and, in some cases, assembled fully automatic short-barreled rifles, AR-style pistols, and silencers. None of the rifles, pistols, or silencers had serial numbers, the weapons were all sold for cash, and code words were used when speaking about the illegal firearms over the telephone, says the affidavit.  It is alleged that in connection with these weapons sales, Reguiera and Rabel failed to complete federally required paperwork, failed to initiate background checks on the buyer, and even failed to check the buyer’s identification, all of which federal law requires.

The criminal complaint affidavit also alleges that Reguiera sold “switch” devices.  When installed, a switch allows a firearm to expel more than one bullet by a single pull of the trigger, turning the weapon into a fully automatic machine gun.

Reguiera and Rabel made their initial federal court appearances today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisette Reid, who sits in  Miami.  Reguiera and Rabel are each charged with possession of an unregistered firearm; unlawful transfer of a firearm; and conspiring to do the following: possession of an unregistered firearm, unlawful transfer of a firearm, failure to keep proper records as required by federal laws, and failure to conduct required background checks. They each face up to ten years’ imprisonment, if convicted.

Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Christopher Robinson, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Miami Field Division; Marshal Gadyaces S. Serralta,  U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Florida; Manuel A. Morales, Interim Chief of Police, City of Miami Police Department; Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez III, Director, Miami Dade Police Department (MDPD); and George Fuente, Acting Chief of Police, Hialeah Police Department announced the charges.

ATF Miami, SDFL U.S. Marshals Service, City of Miami PD, Miami-Dade PD, and City of Hialeah PD investigated the case.  A City of Miami Police Department Gang Intelligence Unit led to the investigation and arrests being announced today.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Karla Albite is prosecuting the case.

This case stems from Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  In 2017, PSN was reinvigorated as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

The case is also part of the Miami-Dade Chiefs of Police Operation Community Shield Initiative.

A criminal complaint contains mere allegations.  Defendants are innocent unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case number 22-mj-02120.

Click here for a picture of the AR-style pistols.

Click here for a picture of the short-barreled rifles.

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