Seven men have been arrested and charged with multiple federal firearms- and drug-related offenses as part of a federal investigation that recovered seven automatic weapons among a haul of so-called ghost guns, officials said Tuesday.
The men were indicted on charges of trafficking firearms and narcotics in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
During the investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents working with the Riverside Gang Impact Team recovered more than 30 firearms, including several fully automatic guns that were not legally owned, said Ginger Colbrun, an ATF spokeswoman.
Most of the guns were privately made firearms bearing no serial numbers or identifying marks, commonly referred to as “ghost guns.” Investigators also seized several pounds of methamphetamine, according to court documents.
Damon Moore, aka “Damage,” 27, of Bellflower was charged with engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license, being a prohibited person in possession of a gun, and distribution of methamphetamine.
According to court records, between September and November, a total of 14 firearms were seized from Moore, with the majority being ghost guns. The firearms taken were six 9-millimeter pistols; three AR-15-type pistols bearing no legitimate manufacturer markings or serial numbers; four privately made, unserialized AR-15-type pistols; and one privately made, unserialized AR-15-type rifle. Additionally, more than 150 grams of methamphetamine were seized.
Ruben Delafuente, aka “Trippy,” 27, of Ontario was charged with distributing cocaine, engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license, being a domestic violence misdemeanant in possession of a firearm, and possession of an unregistered firearm. Between April and July 2021, agents seized from Delafuente a 9-millimeter pistol; a privately made, unserialized, semiautomatic, 9-millimeter pistol; a privately made, unserialized, semiautomatic, AR-type rifle; and a privately made, unserialized, semiautomatic, AR-15 type rifle with a barrel length of approximately 10 inches, according court records.
Damien Martinez, 22, of San Bernardino was charged with engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license, possession of a machine gun, and distribution of methamphetamine.
From June to February, Martinez was found to have pistols capable of firing automatically, including on two separate occasions a drop-switch conversion device that was designed and intended for the purpose of converting a Glock-type pistol into a fully automatic machine gun, according to court records.
Miguel Avila, aka “Papi,” 26, of El Monte was charged with being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. He was in possession of three 9-millimeter pistols in September, court records say.
Jose Urbina, aka “Stoner,” 35, of El Monte was charged with two counts of distribution of methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of a firearm. In May, ATF agents recovered 200 grams of methamphetamine from Urbina, and he possessed a .22-caliber revolver, according to court records.
Jesse Nava, aka “Stomper,” 28, of La Puente was charged with the distribution of methamphetamine. ATF agents recovered 53 grams of methamphetamine from Nava in October, according to court records.
Pablo Sandoval, 40, of San Bernardino was charged with the distribution of methamphetamine. ATF recovered more than 580 grams of methamphetamine from Sandoval in September, according to court records.