Federal agents have
arresteda New York City police officer and his brother, a Customs and Border Protection (ICE) officer, on charges of exporting high-powered weapons from the U.S. to the Philippines without a licence.
The complaint charges that between January 2009 and March 2013, the brothers leveraged their law enforcement credentials to obtain military-grade assault rifles, sniper rifles, and other high-powered weapons before selling them to overseas customers with the help of another brother who resides in the Philippines.
One of the brothers, Rex Marilit, is assigned to police headquarters in Manhattan. The other is an ICE officer assigned to Los Angeles International Airport.
“By allegedly misusing their positions as sworn officers of the law in an ill-
conceived scheme to illegally acquire and traffic firearms, now, the sad irony is that the laws once enforced by these defendants will be the very same laws used to prosecute them,” said
Joseph Anarumo, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge at the New York Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch said that the brothers “used their knowledge of the law to circumvent it, and sent dangerous weapons overseas without regard for the ultimate destination or targets.”
The reported firearms that the defendants illegally exported and sold include the Barrett M82A1 .50 calibre semi-automatic rifle, the Special Operations Combat Assault
Rifle (“SCAR”), and the FN Herstal
5.7mm semi-automatic pistol.
From the complaint:
The Barrett rifle is favoured by specialised military forces due to its extraordinary power
and range. The SCAR is a military rifle designed in 2004 at the request of the United States
Special Operations Command for a new family of assault rifles to be used by U.S. Special Forces. The FN Herstal 5.7mm semi-automatic pistol is a high-capacity, battlefield weapon
capable of firing a projectile that can penetrate body armour.
“The defendants are alleged to have illegally exported some of the world’s most powerful firearms with complete disregard as to who the end user would be,” said James T. Hayes Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New York.
The defendants face up to 5 years in prison on each charge, forfeiture, and a fine of up to $US250,000.
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