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24 June – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – R. Alexander Acosta, Uni…

24 June – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Julie Torres, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Robert Parker, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department, and Amos Rojas, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Miami Region, announced today that defendant, Michael Garrison, a third grade teacher at a Miami Dade County public school, was arrested on federal gun charges this morning. Garrison made his initial appearance in federal court this afternoon before Magistrate Judge Patrick White. Garrison’s next court appearance will be at his arraignment and pre-trial detention hearing, scheduled for Tuesday, June 28, 2005, at 10:00 a.m.

The Indictment charges Garrison with selling firearms to a known convicted felon with knowledge that the firearms would be used to commit violent crimes. Specifically, Counts 1 – 3 of the Indictment charge Garrison with selling an AK-47 rifle, a .308 caliber assault rifle, and a 7.62mm assault rifle to a person whom Garrison knew to be a convicted felon, in violation of the provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968, Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(d)(1). Count 4 of the Indictment charges Garrison with selling an assault rifle knowing that the assault rifle would be used to commit a crime of violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(h). Count 5 of the Indictment charges Garrison with engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(a)(1)(A). Count 6 of the Indictment charges Garrison with lying to a federal agent about the sale of two (2) firearms in 2003, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001(a)(2).

Counts 1 through 4 each carry a statutory maximum penalty of up to ten (10) years’ imprisonment. Counts 5 and 6 each carry a statutory maximum penalty of up to five (5) years’ imprisonment. Garrison also faces fines of up to $250,000 if convicted.

This Indictment stems from an investigation that began in 2003, when ATF agents traced two AK-47 rifles seized from a Miami-area crime scene to Garrison. This prosecution was a result of the Street Terror Offender Program, “STOP,” a joint federal/state effort which targets armed and violent felons who would trade in guns.

ATF Special Agent in Charge Julie Torres said, “I would like to commend the cooperative efforts of law enforcement which have culminated with the Indictment and arrest of Mr. Garrison for violations of the federal firearms laws. Hard work has paid off with the arrest of someone we trust with our children by day and who by night sells that which can harm them most.”
United States Attorney Acosta added, “As a community, we must be especially vigilant in our efforts to stop the proliferation of illegal guns, which place our youth and our community in serious danger. This is especially the case when those whom we hold up as examples to our community violate our trust. This Office will continue to deploy resources to fight the problem of illegal weapons, to make our schools, our streets, and our community safer.”

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Miami-Dade Police Department, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for their work on this case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Melissa Damian.

A copy of all press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls . Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on .

British MP George Galloway and his opponent the Daily Telegraph will leave no stone unturned to sort out what could be a spectacular libel case.