Posted on 01-18-2008 by the Associated Press
LOS ANGELES - A former gang member who founded an anti-violence group called No Guns has pleaded no contest to federal weapons charges.
Hector "Big Weasel" Marroquin, 51, and co-defendant Sylvia Arrellano, 25, entered pleas Thursday for three counts of manufacture, distribution and transport for sale of an unlawful assault weapon.
Arrellano also pleaded no contest to machine gun conversion and possessing a silencer and acknowledged that the crime was committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang.
She was given until Tuesday to surrender for sentencing and would likely be sentenced to four years in prison, prosecutors said.
Marroquin attorney Patrick Smith did not return a phone message seeking comment Thursday. No phone listing was available for Arrellano.
Marroquin founded No Guns in 1996, ostensibly to reduce gang and gun violence. The group received $1.5 million from the city as a subcontractor on anti-gang efforts but its contract was canceled last year after authorities learned that Marroquin had hired relatives, including his son, Hector "Little Weasel" Marroquin.
The son is an acknowledged 18th Street gang member who pleaded no contest in June 2007 to home-invasion robbery and was sentenced to nine years in state prison.
The NRA magazine "Americas First Freedom" did a good article on this tool a few months ago. It's unbelievable. This short article doesn't even tell you a quarter of the story.