Two police officers from Southern California allegedly purchased firearms that are not available to the general public, and resold them. The officers are accused of dealing guns without a license, and are scheduled to appear in court next month.
Two Cops Caught in Illegal Gun Sales
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in L.A. stated that Gardena Police Department officers, Carlos Miguel Fernandez, 42, and Edward Yasushiro Arao, 47, have been accused of conspiring with each other and dealing firearms without a license.
Together, Fernandez and Arao allegedly sold approximately 100 firearms without a license between March 2014 and February 2017. Most of the firearms sold were .38 caliber pistols which are so-called “off-roster” guns.
Off-roster guns are not available to the general public. However, law enforcement can legally purchase these firearms.
The indictment also named others who are allegedly involved in the sales.
Gardena Police Chief Edward Medrano revealed in a statement that Fernandez and Arao were placed on administrative leave following the charges. Medrano added that the department has cooperated with the investigation into the officers.
“We are deeply concerned about the case,” Medrano said. “This type of conduct is inconsistent with our organizational values and the ethics of our profession and will not be tolerated by the Gardena Police Department.”
The officers have been scheduled to appear in court for arraignment on April 3. So far, their legal representation is not known, and the union that represents Gardena officers hasn’t responded to the issue.
Federal prosecutors allege that Fernandez advertised guns from himself, Arao, and others on his Instagram page. Arao, CEO of Ronin Tactical Group, advertised guns on his company’s page.
The indictment further stated that the officers marketed firearms at gun shows without a proper license.
If convicted, Fernandez could be facing 15 years behind bars. Arao could be sentenced to 10 years.
This is the second incident in Los Angeles County this month, as Lt. Vasken Gourdikian from Pasadena was arrested on similar charges.