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Undercover ATF agents bust alleged 'ghost gun' ring dealing in AK-47s, homemade silencers

Ghost guns do not have serial numbers
Posted at 1:28 PM, Dec 04, 2018

DENVER – Two people are facing federal charges after federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents went undercover and purchased numerous guns without serial numbers as well as machines guns and silencers that were not properly registered under federal law.

Andres Luna and Jose Eduardo Trujillo were arrested Nov. 29 and are being held by U.S. Marshals. Trujillo is charged with possessing “firearms which have not been registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.” Luna faces the same charge and possessing “firearms which have been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce as a person having been convicted of a felony” and possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance.

The National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record requires machine guns, silencers, short-barreled rifles, short-barreled shotguns and destructive devices to be registered to the person who possesses them. It was enacted in 1934 as a way to combat prohibition-era violence. 

For guns not falling into those categories, a business who sells a gun to someone must log the sale, but there is no central registration.

Federal criminal complaints reviewed by Contact7 Investigates show guns, including AK-47s and homemade silencers, were purchased by undercover agents as recently as Nov. 8.

Trujillo showed undercover agents video of weapons being fired with silencers in the basement of a building and said the gunfire could not be heard on the floor above, the indictment alleges.

The “ghost guns” and silencers were kept at Artwork Auto near Washington Street and East 78th Avenue in north Denver, the feds allege. That’s just east of I-25.

The feds also say undercover agents bought guns and crystal methamphetamine from Luna multiple times from Nov. 20, 2017 through mid-June.

Both men face up to 10 years in prison, if convicted. Trujillo’s detention hearing was scheduled for Tuesday morning. Luna’s detention hearing is set for Friday. At a detention hearing, federal prosecutors must convince a judge that it is necessary to keep a defendant in jail until trial.