The dealing in firearms is regulated by the ATF, which requires gun dealers to first obtain a federal firearms license before engaging in a business of selling and buying firearms. The United States Munitions List requires export licenses for firearms such as the military-style assault rifles, sniper rifles, and semi-automatic handguns. The Arms Export Control Act requires exporters of firearms to first obtain the approval of the United States State Department before shipping weapons overseas. All rules and regulations that law enforcement agencies and officers should be well aware of; unless they feel they are above the law. On Thursday, September 5, 2013, federal agents arrested Rex Maralit, 44, a New York city police officer, and Wilfredo Maralit, 48, a U. S. Customs and Border Protection Officer assigned to Los Angeles International Airport for conspiring to violate the Arms Export Control Act by exporting high – powered weapons from the United States to the Philippines. Ariel Maralit, 43, who at present resides in the Philippines was also charged in the case. Ariel, is a brother to Rex and Wilfredo and is also an American law enforcement officer.
According to the complaint, between January 2009 and March 2013, the defendants schemed to smuggle high – powered assault weapons and accessories from the U. S. to the Philippines, where they were sold to overseas customers. Without obtaining export or federal firearms licenses, the defendants used their law enforcement credentials to obtain documents on weapons from U. S. – based gun dealers. The powerful and dangerous firearms that the defendants illegally exported and sold include the Barrett M82A1 .50 caliber semi-automatic rifle, the SCAR, and the FN Herstal 5.7mm semi-automatic pistol.
According to the complaint, the brother, Ariel, residing in the Philippines would identify customers, contact his brothers in the United States, who would locate the desired weapons and make arrangement to purchase the items through dealers in the United States. After obtaining the weapon they would disassemble it and smuggle them out of United States in disguised shipments. All the defendants face up to five years in prison on each charge, forfeiture, and the fine of up to $250,000.
ATF New York Special Agent in Charge Joseph Anarumo Jr. stated, "The alleged criminal acts carried out by these defendants, including two law enforcement officers, are reprehensible and inexcusable. We must not allow the public trust and confidence in those sworn to protect and serve our communities to be compromised. By allegedly misusing their positions as sworn officers of the law in an ill-conceived scheme to illegally acquire and traffic firearms, now, the sad irony is that the laws once enforced by these defendants will be the very same laws used to prosecute them."