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Norwalk, Bellflower, Bell Gardens men arrested by ATF in undercover weapon selling operation

LOS ANGELES – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today announced the arrest of two defendants who were indicted on firearms violations after a six-month undercover investigation in the south Los Angeles County.

According to court documents, the ATF investigation began in May 2010 and targeted several individuals who were illegally selling firearms. During the course of the investigation, six firearms were purchased, including a machine gun, a sawed-off shotgun, and a stolen .50-caliber handgun. ATF undercover agents and a confidential informant working on behalf of ATF were able to infiltrate a group of criminals that were selling illegal firearms in Bellflower and Norwalk.

The following two defendants were arrested yesterday morning after being named in a federal criminal indictment. The third defendant, Gerardo Perez, was not located and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Arrested were Francisco Jimenez, 22, of Bell Gardens; David Martinez, 28, of Norwalk; and Gerardo Perez, 27, of Bellflower, who is also a known fugitive. All three defendants are charged with conspiracy to engage in the business of dealing in firearms without a license, as well as engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license. Additionally, Jimenez is charged with possession of an unregistered firearm, namely, a short-barreled shotgun and weapon made from a shotgun. Perez and Martinez are charged with possession of an unregistered firearm, namely, a machine gun. Martinez is charged with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

If they are convicted of all counts in the indictment, Martinez would face a statutory maximum penalty of 40 years in federal prison, Jimenez and Perez could face a statutory maximum penalty as much as 20 years in prison

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