Man Arrested for Illegally Exporting Assault Rifle and Pistol Parts
BOSTON – A Massachusetts man was arrested this morning on charges that he illegally shipped hundreds of firearm parts to 22 different countries, including Finland where parts allegedly ended up in the hands of the Cannonballs Outlaw Motorcycle Gang.
David L. Maricola, 59, of Southbridge, Mass., was arrested on a 32-count federal indictment on charges of conspiracy, illegally exporting defense articles, making false statements on customs forms and money laundering. He is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Boston at 12:00p.m. today before Chief Magistrate Judge Jennifer C. Boal.
The indictment, which was unsealed today, alleges that between December 2010 and March 2012, Maricola exported and attempted to export hundreds of assault rifle and firearm components, including parts for M16, M4, and AR-15 assault rifles and UZI submachine guns. Additionally, it is alleged that between November 2010 and March 2012, Maricola conspired with Arto Laatikainen, a Finnish citizen, to illegally export firearm parts from the U.S. to Finland and that Maricola shipped Laatikainen more than $100,000 worth of firearm components. Laatikainen procured firearms and firearm components and sold them to criminal organizations in Finland, including the Cannonballs Outlaw Motorcycle Gang.Laatikainen, 31,is also charged in the Indictment.
According to the indictment, Maricola obtained many of the parts he illegally exported from gunbroker.com, an auction-type website, instructed his foreign buyers to send him money using PayPal and told them, “DO NOT MENTION GUN PARTS.” Maricola exported hundreds of firearm parts overseas using the U.S. Postal Service. In order to ship his packages, Maricola lied on customs documents about the contents and value of the articles he was sending overseas. For instance, he repeatedly falsely described parts for AR-15 assault rifles as aluminum sculptures.
The statuatory penalty for each illegal export and monely laundering count is up to 20 years in prison and up to five years in prison on the conspiracy and false statement counts. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Defense Criminal Investigative Service; and Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, provided substantial assistance during the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney B. Stephanie Siegmann of Ortiz’s Anti-Terrorism and National Security Unit.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.