Salvadoran Arms Dealer Charged with Supporting FARC
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Hector Antonio Guillen-Martinez, 32, of El Salvador, was indicted by a federal grand jury today on attempting to provide material support to the FARC, a designated terrorist organization, carrying an explosive during the commission of a felony, transferring explosive materials knowing that they will be used to commit a crime of violence, carrying a destructive device in relation to a crime of violence, and possession of 5 kilograms or more of cocaine with the intent to distribute.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Derek Maltz, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)’s Special Operations Division, made the announcement. Guillen Martinez faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. Guillen-Martinez was taken into custody in the Eastern District of Virginia on Nov. 18, 2010.
According to the indictment, Guillen-Martinez sold several automatic rifles, greater than 20 pounds of plastic explosives, and other explosives to an individual whom he believed to be a member of the FARC, a Colombian paramilitary group that has been a Designated Terrorist Organization since 1997. As charged in the indictment, the defendant believed that these weapons and explosives were to be used by the FARC in Colombia to eradicate Americans from Colombia, dead or alive. Guillen-Martinez was apprehended in the Eastern District of Virginia when he traveled to the District in order to transfer a load of 20 kilograms of cocaine to New York City on behalf of the FARC.
This case was investigated by the DEA’s Special Operations Division and San Salvador Country Office. Mr. MacBride also thanked the Salvadoran National Police and the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of International Affairs for their ongoing assistance. Assistant United States Attorney Michael P. Ben’Ary of the Office’s National Security and International Crime Unit is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.