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Press Release

California Man Admits Selling Guns and Methamphetamine over Internet

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A California man today admitted conspiring to unlawfully sell firearms and methamphetamine via the internet, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Angelo Chavez, 23, of Manteca, California, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi to an information charging him with one count each of conspiracy to unlawfully deal in firearms and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Starting in August 2020, undercover law enforcement agents began communicating with Chavez and several conspirators via a social media platform, where Chavez and his conspirators advertised for sale various narcotics and firearms. From August 2020 and December 2021, undercover law enforcement agents purchased 13 firearms from Chavez and his conspirators, including six AR-15 firearms, two of which were shipped with auto sear switches which enable the firearms to function as fully automatic machine guns. Undercover agents also purchased methamphetamine from Chavez and his conspirators. Chavez and his conspirators were paid mostly in cryptocurrency and mailed the drugs and guns from addresses in California to New Jersey.

The conspiracy to unlawfully deal in firearms charge carries a statutory maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine charge carries a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 21, 2023.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Newark, under the direction of Postal Inspector in Charge Christopher A. Nielsen, Philadelphia Division; and special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Newark Field Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Bryan Miller, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. 

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vera Varshavsky of the U.S. Attorney’s Criminal Division in Newark.



Updated August 15, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 23-232