5 April 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Marcos Daniel Jiménez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Jesus Torres, Special Agent in Charge, Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Julie Torres, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and Robert E. Harris, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, announced today that defendant, Guillermo Cardoso-Arias, was sentenced in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on April 1, 2005, by United States District Court Judge James I. Cohn, to a term of forty-six (46) months in prison.
The two-count Indictment charged Cardoso-Arias with knowingly engaging and attempting to engage in the business of brokering activities with respect to the export of two hundred (200) AK-47 fully automatic assault rifles, in violation of Title 22, United States Code, Section 2778, and attempting to export two hundred (200) fully automatic AK-47 assault rifles without a license, in violation of Title 22, United States Code, Section 2778. The defendant faces a maximum statutory sentence of ten (10) years in prison per count.
In law enforcement monitored and recorded conversations, Cardoso-Arias asserted that he was purchasing the two hundred (200) AK-47 fully automatic assault rifles on behalf of the Colombian “Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia” (“AUC”), known as the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia. The defendant further stated in the referenced conversations that the weapons would be used to fight the Colombian “Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia” (“FARC”), known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.” The defendant explained that there was a need for a lot of AK-47’s because they are lighter and easier to handle than other weapons when climbing the mountains of Colombia. Both the AUC and FARC have been designated by the U.S. State Department as terrorist organizations.
Mr. Jiménez commended the investigative efforts of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and Defense Criminal Investigative Service. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Walleisa.
A copy of this 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 .