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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

January 28, 2010

Contact: Michael Hoffman, Special Agent — PIO

Office: (818) 265-2507

Cell: (951) 538-4803

ATF Announces Opening of New Office in Imperial County, To Help Combat Firearms Trafficking

IMPERIAL COUNTY, Calif. - Special Agent in Charge John A. Torres, of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Los Angeles Field Division, today announced that ATF has expanded operations in Imperial County by opening up a new office in the city of Imperial.

The office will be staffed with special agents, industry operations investigators and an intelligence research specialist. The investigative priorities of the office are to further ATF’s Project Gunrunner program. Project Gunrunner is ATF’s initiative targeting the illegal trafficking of firearms into Mexico. The Imperial office is part of ATF’s strategic deployment of resources on the Southwest Border to deny firearms to criminal organizations operating in Mexico and along the border. This strategy will also aid in the reduction of firearms-related violence affecting communities on both sides of the border.

ATF agents and investigators will share their knowledge and expertise in identifying and investigating firearms and explosives violations to local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies operating in and around Imperial County.

With the opening of our new office and the additional personnel assigned, ATF is significantly increasing its presence in the Imperial Valley, said Special Agent in Charge John A. Torres. We see ourselves as being part of this community and encourage the public to join us in a combined effort to rid our neighborhoods of gun traffickers and violent criminals.

ATF agents assigned to the Imperial Field Office recently led an investigation that culminated in a federal search warrant which led to the seizure of six rifles, two California assault rifles, one shotgun, two handguns, more than 2,500 rounds of ammunition, and four marijuana plants from a two-time convicted felon. ATF agents also seized three additional California assault weapons, a shotgun and three handguns from other suspects. This investigation spanned from Winterhaven, Calif. to Yuma, Ariz. and involved firearms trafficking between the two states. Other agencies participating in this case included the Imperial Valley Drug Coalition, Yuma Police Department, Yuma County Sheriff's Department, and ATF’s Yuma Satellite Office.

Anyone with information about firearms trafficking or the illegal possession of firearms is encouraged to call ATF at 1-800-ATF-GUNS (800-283-4867). Callers can remain anonymous.

More information about ATF and its programs is available at