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Five U.S. Marines Arrested After Selling Military Assault Weapons to Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley Gang Members

On Monday, November 8, 2010, ATF agents arrested Jose Smith Pacheco, 31, of Montebello, and Miguel A. Ortiz, 49, of Northridge, both former Marines. Also arrested were Edwin Cano, 33, of Northridge, and Christopher John Thomas, 32, of Van Nuys. The four are charged with five counts each of having unlawful assault weapons, including four AK-47 assault rifles and an AR-15 assault weapon. Cano faces three additional counts, including two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon. The felony complaint for arrest warrant was filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Deputy District Attorney Steven Dickman of the Hardcore Gang Division is prosecuting the case.

The arrests came following a year-long multi-agency investigation into illegal trafficking of firearms that brought ATF, Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General Special Agent (OIG) and Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers to the home of former U.S. Marine Andrew Gitschlag, 28, at 3419 Calle La Veta in San Clemente—near the cross streets of Calle Guaymas and Camino Mira Costa on the San Clemente/Capistrano Beach border.


Deputy District Attorney Steven Dickman of the Hardcore Gang Division of the LA County District Attorney’s Offico filed the felony complaint for the arrest warrant and is prosecuting the case.

A federal search warrant was served on the morning of November 2, at 3419 Calle La Veta in San Clemente.

Deputy District Attorney Steven Dickman of the Hardcore Gang Division of the LA County District Attorney’s Office said the defendants sold $6,000 dollars worth of illegal weapons on June 23 to a person they believed to be connected to the Florencia 13 gang.

Read more …
San Clemente Times UPDATE: Arrests Made in Connection With November 2 Search Warrant Served for Illegal Firearms in San Clemente

LA Times Marines sold military assault weapons to L.A. gang members, authorities allege [Updated]