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Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit
03/27/2015

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NYPD officer, CBP officer sentenced to 3 years for weapons smuggling

NEW YORK — Two law enforcement officers, who used their positions to obtain high-powered military-grade weapons to smuggle to the Philippines, were sentenced Friday to three years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. This sentencing stems from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the New York City Police Department (NYPD).

Former New York City Police Officer Rex Maralit, 46, and his brother Wilfredo Maralit, 49, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer assigned to Los Angeles International Airport, pleaded guilty June 12, 2014, for their roles in an illegal scheme to smuggle high-powered assault rifles, sniper rifles, pistols, and firearms accessories from the United States to the Philippines, violating the Arms Export Control Act. A third brother, Ariel Maralit, resides in the Philippines and remains a fugitive.

The sentences were announced by Raymond R. Parmer, Jr., special agent in charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York; U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch; Assistant Attorney General John P. Carlin; Craig W. Rupert, special agent in charge, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Northeast Field Office; Delano A. Read, special agent in charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), New York Field Division; and William J. Bratton, commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD).

Between January 2009 and September 2013, the defendants exported a variety of military-style firearms, along with high-capacity magazines and accessories for those weapons, from the United States to the Philippines, where they were sold to overseas customers. Both Rex and Wilfredo Maralit used their official credentials and status to obtain and ship the weapons without first obtaining a license from the U.S. State Department. The firearms included the Barrett .50 caliber long-range semi-automatic rifle, the FN “SCAR” assault rifle, and high-capacity FN 5.7mm semi-automatic carbines and pistols which fire a cartridge that was specifically designed to penetrate body armor.

The Arms Export Control Act requires exporters of firearms to first obtain the approval of the U.S. State Department before shipping weapons overseas. Similarly, dealing in firearms is regulated by the ATF, which requires gun dealers to first obtain a federal firearms license before engaging in such a business.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Seth DuCharme and Sam Nitze, with assistance from Trial Attorney David Recker of the Justice Department’s National Security Division are prosecuting the government’s case.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 04/01/2015