CAMDEN, N.J. — An Ocean County man admitted Thursday to his role in a conspiracy to smuggle more than $200,000 worth of firearms parts out of the United States. The guilty plea follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Abelardo Delmundo, 53, of Toms River, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act and U.S. anti-smuggling laws.
According to court documents, Delmundo admitted that from 2008 through October 2013, he and other conspirators he met through an internet forum agreed to ship firearms and firearms parts from the United States to the Philippines. Kirby Santos, 38, of the Republic of the Philippines and others allegedly used credit cards and other forms of payment to purchase firearms parts from suppliers in the United States. Knowing that they would not ship to the Philippines, Santos and others arranged for the suppliers to send the firearms parts to Delmundo’s Toms River address in order to make it appear as if it were a domestic sale.
Delmundo also admitted that after receiving the firearms parts, he falsely labeled the contents of the package as food or other home goods and exported the firearms parts to the Philippines for ultimate delivery to the other conspirators. To disguise his role in the conspiracy, Delmundo used the alias “Teng Flores” when sending the packages containing prohibited items. Upon receiving the firearms parts, Delmundo was paid through cash payments and wire transfers to Delmundo’s relatives in the Philippines.
During the course of the nearly five-year long conspiracy, Delmundo and others purchased and directed the unlawful exportation of more than $200,000 worth of defense articles from the United States to the Philippines without the required export license.
The charge to which Delmundo pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for August 7, 2015.