Southbridge Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Exporting Assault Rifle and Pistol Parts
Boston – A Southbridge, Mass., man was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court in Worcester in connection with illegally shipping hundreds of firearm parts to people in 20 countries, including France, Finland, Indonesia, New Zealand, Thailand, Spain, Australia, and Germany.
David L. Maricola, 60, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman to 33 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to forfeit 30 firearms and more than 1,000 firearm componets. In April 2016, Maricola pleaded guilty to a 32-count indictment charging him with conspiracy, illegally exporting defense articles, making false statements on customs forms, and money laundering.
In 2015, Maricola and Arto Laatikanien, a 32-year old Finnish citizen, were indicted in connection with illegally exporting hundreds of assault rifle and firearm components, including parts for M16, M4, AR-15 assault rifles, Glock pistols, and UZI submachine guns.Between November 2010 and March 2012, Maricola shipped more than $100,000 worth of firearm components to Laatikainen in Finland though the U.S. Postal Service.After receiving the parts, Laatikainen sold them to criminal organizations in Finland, including the Cannonballs Outlaw Motorcycle Gang.Numerous firearm parts Maricola illegally exported to Laatikanien were used in two gang shootings in Finland.During one of the shootings that occurred on December 31, 2012, one person was killed and another seriously wounded.
At the plea hearing, Maricola admitted to illegally exporting and conspiring to illegally export hundreds of firearm parts overseas using the Postal Service, lying on customs declaration forms about the contents and value of the articles he was sending, and money laundering. Maricola acknowledged that he had obtained many of the parts he illegally exported overseas from Gunbroker.com, and instructed his customers to send money to him using Paypal. Additionally, Maricola admitted that he repeatedly falsely described gun parts on customs forms as merely being “AIRSOFT” or replica firearms rather than being for actual, lethal guns. On numerous occasions, Maricola also falsely described AR-15 assault rifles parts as “aluminum sculptures.”
Laatikanien remains in Finland as Finland does not extradite its own nationals.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Craig Rupert, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Northeast Field Office; and Michael S. Imbrogna, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Export Enforcement, Boston Field Office, made the announcement today. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and U.S. Postal Inspection Service provided substantial assistance during the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney B. Stephanie Siegmann of Ortiz’s National Security Unit.