MIAMI – Matthew T. Albence, deputy director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Anthony Salisbury, special agent in charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Miami, announced the results of an international weapons trafficking operation with law enforcement partners in Argentina and Brazil.
The international operation resulted in a total of 25 arrests and 53 search warrants executed in three countries. Over the course of the operation, law enforcement seized 5,300 firearms and components, 167 explosives/ordinances and 15 silencers from the transnational criminal organization (TCO).
HSI Miami initiated the investigation into the TCO smuggling large quantities of weapons parts and accessories from the U.S. to Argentina and Brazil. The TCO exploited the U.S. Postal Service by illegally exporting weapon parts and ammunition regulated by the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations without the proper State Department licenses. Since the inception of this investigation, several HSI offices, as well as Argentinian and Brazilian authorities have conducted multiple search warrants and arrests netting significant quantities of firearms, firearms parts and more than $100,000 in cash.
Joining Albence and Salisbury in announcing the results were Tony Gonzalez, first assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District Florida; Commandant Martin Myslicki Argentina National Gendarmeria; Eugênio Coutinho Ricas, attaché for the Brazil Federal Police; Bladismir Rojo, assistant postal inspector in charge in Miami; and Diane Sabatino, director of field operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Miami.