Sterling Man Sentenced for Smuggling Weapons to Bolivia
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Joan Manuel Ramirez Lema, 41, of Sterling, was sentenced today to 20 months in prison for charges related to smuggling guns from the United States to Bolivia.
Ramirez Lema pleaded guilty on Sept. 22. According to court documents, from Jan. 2010 to Aug. 2015, Ramirez Lema smuggled 115 firearms from the United States to Bolivia. Ramirez Lema, a U.S. citizen, shipped used vehicles with multiple firearms hidden in door panels. In a statement to federal agents, Ramirez Lema said he shipped merchandise and cars to Bolivia via freight forwarding companies in Baltimore, Maryland and Newark, New Jersey. He stated that he usually purchased between two and three guns a month and bought most of the guns in Leesburg and Sterling.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Clark E. Settles, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington; and Michael Boxler, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Washington Field Division, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, III. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Walutes, Jr. prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:16-cr-206.
Updated January 6, 2017