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Two Texas Men Indicted for Conspiring to Buy Grenade Launcher



BIRMINGHAM - A federal grand jury today indicted two Texas men for surreptitiously trying to buy an automatic grenade launcher, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and ATF Special Agent in Charge Glenn Anderson.

The indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges ADAM EMMANUEL LEWIS, 27, and ANTONIO RODRIGUEZ-ARELLANO, 25, with conspiring to possess a machine gun that was not registered to either man in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.

The men were attempting to buy an MK-19 fully automatic grenade launcher from an undercover agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to the indictment.

"The weapon these individuals sought to obtain is powerful and destructive. It is a dangerous and frightening scenario that anyone would seek to purchase an automatic grenade launcher outside the bounds of law," Vance said. "The ATF is to be commended for its diligent work that prevented such a destructive weapon from being bought secretly and potentially used criminally," she said.

"Lewis and Rodriguez-Arellano were looking for a low-key purchase of an illegal grenade launcher, plain and simple," Anderson said. "Fortunately, this investigation stopped that from happening. Firearm trafficking cases like this one prevent violence, save lives and keep illegal weapons off the street," he said.

According to the indictment, LEWIS' and RODGRIGUEZ-ARELLANO's attempts to buy the grenade launcher developed as follows: LEWIS contacted an ATF confidential informant on Nov. 29 to arrange the purchase of an unregistered automatic grenade launcher. On Dec. 3, both LEWIS and RODGRIGUEZ-ARELLANO traveled from Texas to Cullman in an attempt to buy the weapon. In subsequent phone calls from Dec. 3 to Dec. 15, LEWIS and RODRIGUEZ-ARELLANO negotiated the payment and logistics for buying the grenade launcher with an undercover ATF agent.

On Dec. 15, RODRIGUEZ-ARELLANO traveled from Texas to Leeds, where he paid the undercover agent about $24,000 for the MK-19 automatic grenade launcher, according to the indictment.

RODRIGUEZ-ARELLANO and LEWIS both were arrested Dec. 15. RODRIGUEZ-ARELLANO was arrested in Leeds and LEWIS was arrested in Texas. The men could face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The ATF investigated the case with assistance from the Cullman County Sheriff's Department Narcotics Enforcement Team. Assistant U.S. Attorney Enid Dean Athanas is prosecuting the case.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government's burden to prove a defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
 

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I wonder how may unregistered automatic grenade launcher are out there. Bet these guys were heading straight to Mexico with it.
 

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They may be trying to purchase illegal weapons in the US, but it appears that they are not very successful at it. It's weird though, I can't imagine there being many, if any, awol MK19's in the US, it's not like someone could easily drive off a military base with one. I would think a MK19 stolen from the military would be far more likely in Mexico, where corruption and cartel infiltration in the military and police is well known and far from uncommon. Why would anyone look in the US, where military bases are heavily secured and weapons don't just walk off, for a weapon that is likely openly available on the black market in Mexico from corrupt officers or captured military/police equipment? I'm far more worried about cartels bringing their captured and black market weapons up into the US to fight each other, than our guns headed down there.
 

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I thought they sold those at gun shows, isn't that what the news tells us?
 

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There probably never was one. They just happened to express willingness to procure one to the wrong (in this case right) ear. Much like the recent terror arrests where the arrestees expressed a desire to commit and act, formulated a plot with a "supporter" who offered logistical help whom in the end was Fed LE. The same has been done with MANPADS rockets, AKs, and explosives.
 

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Assault is a behavior; Not a weapon.
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Man-O-Man, Those Pesky Feds always ruin all the fun.

Grenade launchers serve a legitimate sporting purpose when fishing !! Pop a grenade in the water, scoop up the fish.
 

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"The men could face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine."

Isn't that the same sentence for having a high capacity magazine in NYS???
 

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I'm not even sure what the tactical purpose is of an automatic grenade launcher, but I want one.
 

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sherm66 said:
There probably never was one. They just happened to express willingness to procure one to the wrong (in this case right) ear. Much like the recent terror arrests where the arrestees expressed a desire to commit and act, formulated a plot with a "supporter" who offered logistical help whom in the end was Fed LE. The same has been done with MANPADS rockets, AKs, and explosives.
This sounds like a sting setup no doubt
 

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just working to improve,one round at a time
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Dumb As*. why would anyone be that stupid to look to buy one? you can get RPG's just about anyplace and they have better range and have AP rounds to boot......lol.
No realy, thats a hell of a lot of cash for something you could never get ammo for and in NY you could only have 10 rnd mags........
 
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