LOS ANGELES - Three Filipino nationals, including a former Philippine customs official, were arrested on Thursday for trying to import and sell weapons to the US.
The Los Angeles Times reported that authorities arrested Sergio Santiago de Leon Syjuco, Cesar Paolo Inciong Ubaldo and Arjyl Revereza, on charges of violating arms import laws by selling 12 fully automatic Bushmaster M-4 .223 caliber rifles, a .50 caliber sniper rifle, an M14 7.62mm assault rifle, a single-shot grenade launcher, a rocket propelled grenade (RPG-7) launcher, a mortar launcher, an AK-47 rifle and ballistic vests to an undercover officer in the Philippines without a license.
Their charges are in direct violation of the Arms Export Control Act and are part of an FBI investigation of Transnational Asian Organized Crime Groups involved in the illicit trafficking of firearms.
According to the FBI, the suspects tried to sell military-grade firearms during an eight-month period beginning in 2010.
Revereza, apparently a former Philippines customs official, offered to help ship the weapons from the Philippines to the US.
The suspect appeared on Friday at a US District Court in Los Angeles. Their pleas are still undisclosed.
The suspects could face a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted.
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