NEW JERSEY – A California man Tuesday admitted conspiring to unlawfully sell firearms and methamphetamine via the internet, according to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.
Angelo Chavez, 23, of Manteca pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi to one count each of conspiracy to unlawfully deal in firearms and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, Sellinger said.
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.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 21.