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Thread: MD - 2 Men Accused of Bringing Weapons Into state

  1. #1
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    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...052001599.html

    A federal grand jury in Greenbelt has indicted two men on charges of conspiring to sell firearms without a license and illegally bringing almost two dozen handguns and five AK-47 assault rifles into Maryland.


    Moises Castillo Jr., of Tarrant, Ala., and Otis Gomez-Zapata, of the Bronx, N.Y., were arrested Friday, Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a statement.

    They were accused of bringing the guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition from Alabama to Maryland. Castillo, 25, is accused of advising two purchasers -- who were confidential informants working for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives -- to obliterate the serial numbers on the weapons.

    Most of the weapons were purchased in pawn shops in Alabama, the indictment alleges. The informants who made the purchases turned the weapons and ammunition over to federal agents, according to the court papers.

    Neither Castillo nor Gomez-Zapata, 28, is a licensed firearms dealer, and neither of the men was authorized to purchase weapons and transport them across state lines, according to court papers.

    "Guns that are brought to Maryland illegally are often used by criminals who can't buy guns from licensed dealers and want guns that cannot be traced back to them by law enforcement authorities," Rosenstein said in the statement.

    Castillo was arrested in Alabama, and Gomez-Zapata was arrested in New York, said Marcia Murphy, a spokeswoman for Rosenstein's office. Castillo, who does not yet have an attorney for the federal charges in Maryland, is expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt within a week or so, she said.

    Gomez-Zapata, who is scheduled to appear today in state court in New York for a hearing on unrelated drug charges, also does not have an attorney for the federal gun charges in Maryland, Murphy said.

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    I'm wondering what Bloomberg is doing to keep people like Gomez-Zapata from walking the streets? I think there's a pretty good chance this isn't the guy's first crack at breaking the law......

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    bohdi wrote:
    I'm wondering what Bloomberg is doing to keep people like Gomez-Zapata from walking the streets? I think there's a pretty good chance this isn't the guy's first crack at breaking the law......
    From my understanding, Bloomberg has broken more gun laws than Gomez-Zapata. Since when do you need to be a gun dealer to sell guns? Since when is it illegal to cross state lines with guns? What law did these guys break?

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    Since the BATFE was involved, I wonder how much of that story is actually true. Like how many of those handguns and AK's the BATFE planted on the gentlemen concerned.

    Er

    I mean, of course the BATFE obeyed the rule of law, just like they always do. Nope, they aren't categorically jack-booted thugs, nope not at all...

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    You don't strictly need a license to sell guns. You do, however, need a license to be a dealer, which federal law defines as someone who "devotes time and attention... for the purpose of livelihood and profit" to buying and selling guns. That and the interstate commerce aspect of this plant is squarely in federal jurisdiction. They are screwed, I say with no hesitation or fear of contradiction. Fortunately, the penalties aren't that bad, as federal laws go. They might do about 3 years real time over this.

    -ljp

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    IF that is what really happened (which is always a question with the BATFEFUUTA) then I have no sympathy for them. I may not agree with most of the firearm laws, but I am a LAC and follow them until we can get them changed legislatively.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    deepdiver wrote:
    IF that is what really happened (which is always a question with the BATFEFUUTA) then I have no sympathy for them. I may not agree with most of the firearm laws, but I am a LAC and follow them until we can get them changed legislatively.
    +1

    Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population. -Albert Einstein

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    I used to live in Maryland. I do NOT miss that place.

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    deepdiver wrote:
    IF that is what really happened (which is always a question with the BATFEFUUTA) then I have no sympathy for them. I may not agree with most of the firearm laws, but I am a LAC and follow them until we can get them changed legislatively.
    You may as well just give all of your guns to the gov't tomorrow morning with that train of thought. You need to have the illegal laws overturned in a gov't financed court to get rid of the problem; good luck with that. Unfortunately it seems to be easier to take care of the problem in the courts than the legislature. Besides, I didn't need special government permission to sell my last vehicle, my property mind you, to an out of state resident and people using vehicles kill more that people with guns do.

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    The informants who made the purchases turned the weapons and ammunition over to federal agents, according to the court papers.
    two purchasers -- who were confidential informants working for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
    Does this mean that the "agents" arranged illegal straw purchases through CI's for a couple of guys that couldn't legally own/purchase guns?
    I must be missing something....these guys could not have made the "legal" purchases from the pawn shop/s without the "CI's working for the BATFE" correct? If this is true, would it not also stand to reason that they could'nt have made the "illegal" sales without the "help" of the CI's as well.
    I'm not trying to defend these guys but, shouldn't criminals be charged/judged by "their own" illegal actions?




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    regardless of the "evidence" or testimony against these men, or any indicted on similar charges, If I were sitting on teh Jury, there would be only 2 possible outcomes: acquittal, or a hung Jury.

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    unreconstructed1 wrote:
    regardless of the "evidence" or testimony against these men, or any indicted on similar charges, If I were sitting on teh Jury, there would be only 2 possible outcomes: acquittal, or a hung Jury.
    I kind of hope that sometime in the next two years, while I still have a flexible work schedule, I get a summons to serve on a grand jury. All of a sudden the prosecution rate would drop significantly. :shock:

    It would be even better if it's after November, when I have my LTCF, as I would be making use of the lockboxes every day.

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