I bought my first pre-ban AR from this guy two years ago......
Gun dealer held in arms-export probe
An international arms-export investigation has broadened with the arrest of a Miami weapons retailer.
BY JAY WEAVER
Federal agents have arrested the owner of a Miami gun shop, saying he was linked to a major arms-export ring accused of selling weapons intended for Colombian rebel and paramilitary groups.
Joseph Ruiz, owner of Dade County Guns & Ammo Inc. on West Flagler Street, was charged with scheming with a half-dozen suspects to export firearms and ammunition without a federal license.
Ruiz, who has a bail hearing this morning, becomes the seventh defendant charged in the alleged conspiracy. Five of them were arrested in early August; another is a fugitive.
The plan was exposed this summer when boxes of weapons stashed in a storage-facility ceiling fell onto a toilet and ruptured a water pipe.
The case has drawn the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice. Its No. 2 official, Deputy Attorney General James Comey, is expected to join Miami U.S. Attorney Marcos Jiménez today for a press conference on violent crime and firearms prosecutions.
Ruiz, in custody at the Miami Federal Detention Center since his arrest Tuesday, is accused of supplying more than 30 firearms and 45,000 rounds of ammunition for illegal export to Venezuela, and from there to Colombia. He could not be reached for comment, and no one answered the phone at his gun shop.
According to a criminal complaint, federal agents monitored Ruiz's phone conversation with a government informant after the other defendants were arrested.
Ruiz told the informant that Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents told him they had traced four seized rifles back to him through their serial numbers. Agents were still examining other seized rifles with the numbers rubbed off.
Ruiz told the informant by phone that he would ''deny everything until death,'' according to the arrest complaint.
Miami-Dade police and federal investigators first heard about the alleged arms-export conspiracy on June 12.
SIGN OF TROUBLE
Tenants using a garage-bay storage space at 7574 NW 70th St. noticed water leaking into their units from a neighboring space, broke in and found the damaged toilet -- as well as the cache of weapons.
Investigators confiscated 55 firearms, including 20 automatic guns, 19 AK-47-type rifles and nine handguns from the storage unit. They also seized more than 206,000 rounds of military-type ammunition, five pounds of gunpowder, and combat boots.
ATF and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents say the weapons were intended for sale to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Damian said the operation's motive was profit, not politics.
Anyone supporting terroritst narco rebels in Columbia should be sent a one-way first class ticket to Bogota to meet the local authorities in person. They do justice well down there.
Especially if those cases of guns fell on someone who was ON the toilet at the time!
But what a way to go. On the throne and killed by 20 AR's and 15 AK's. Life would be good.