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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

October 1, 2010

Laura E. Duffy, United States Attorney

Contact: Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karla K. Davis
(760) 370-3037

Douglas Keehn
(619) 557-6549

Two Charged With Felony Firearms Violations

El Centro, CA — United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced today the filing of a complaint charging Yoahjan Lara Flores and Arturo Lara with felony firearms violations. According to the complaint, the defendants attempted to purchase multiple grenade launchers, multiple high explosive 40 millimeter grenades, and a M-4 rifle. The complaint alleges that the defendants were attempting to purchase the grenades for the purpose of sending them to Mexico.

The complaint also charges Yoahjan Lara Flores with being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to court records, Lara Flores was convicted in 2009 in the Southern District of California for importation of marijuana (09CR3129-H); he was on supervised release at the time of his arrest.

The defendants were arrested on September 29, 2010, by agents of the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives El Centro Office and assisted by agents and officers from the California Department of Justice - Bureau of Firearms, the Calexico Police Department, the California Highway Patrol, the El Centro Police Department and the Imperial County Sheriff’s Department.

The defendants were arraigned earlier today before United States Magistrate Judge Peter C. Lewis in federal court in El Centro, California; both defendants entered not guilty pleas. The defendants are next scheduled to be in court in El Centro on October 6, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. for a detention hearing.

Criminal Case No.
  • 10mj9144
  • Yoahjan Lara Flores, Age: 21, Heber, California
  • Arturo Lara, Age: 21, El Centro, California
Summary of Charges
  • Title 18, United States Code, Section 371 - Conspiracy to Commit Offense or to Defraud the United States
    Maximum Penalties: 5 years in custody; $250,000 fine
  • Title 26, United States Code, Section 5861(d) - Possession of an Unregistered Firearm
    Maximum Penalties: 10 years in custody; $10,000 fine
  • Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1) - Felon in Possession of a Firearm
    Maximum Penalties: 10 years in custody; $250,000 fine
Participating Agencies
  • Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives - El Centro Office
  • California Department of Justice - Bureau of Firearms
  • Calexico Police Department
  • California Highway Patrol
  • El Centro Police Department
  • Imperial County Sheriff’s Department

A complaint itself is not evidence that the defendants committed the crimes charged. The defendants are presumed innocent until the Government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.