SANTA ANA, California - Federal authorities have arrested two Filipino American brothers for an alleged arms smuggling scheme that involves a third brother in the Philippines.
Wilfredo Maralit, a US Customs and Border Patrol officer at the Los Angeles International Airport, and his brother Rex Maralit, a New York Police Department officer, illegally shipped high-powered, military grade weapons to their brother Ariel in the Philippines.
The scheme involved Ariel, soliciting buyers, while the other two brothers, who both worked in law enforcement, would acquire the weapons from dealers in the US.
Federal officials then claim that Wilfredo and Rex would dismantle the weapons and arrange for the shipments to the Philippines.
Wilfredo appeared at a federal courthouse in Santa Ana, California on Friday afternoon and was granted a $300,000 bond by a federal judge. Rex had also appeared in a New York courthouse on Friday. Federal officials are currently making arrangements to extradite Ariel from the Philippines to the US.
Wilfredo is expected to join Rex in a federal New York courthouse on September 23rd. The three brothers face unto 5 years in prison for the unlicensed export of weapons.