Federal law enforcement said that the Maralit brothers emailed pictures of themselves with their illegal weaponry to each other.
Federal law enforcement and the New York P.D. have announced that a New York City police officer and his brothers were charged in selling military-grade arms to prospective buyers in the Philippines. One of the NYPD officer’s brothers worked in law enforcement as well.
Manhattan police officer Rex-Gene Maralit (44), Los Angeles International Airport Customs and Borders Protection officer Wilfredo Maralit (48), and Arial Maralit (43) were all looking to sell pistols, assault rifles, ammo, and more to buyers in the Philippines illegally between January 2009 and March 2013.
Arial Maralit was the contact for the trio with their potential clients in the Philippines. Once he obtained the shopping list from clients he emailed the list to his brothers in the U.S.
With everything set up, Rex-Gene and Wilfredo Maralit bought the desired weapons and firearms parts from dealers in the U.S via the internet. The two also used their law enforcement credentials for discounts.
The older Maralit brothers then smuggled the illegal goods overseas labeled as electronics and building materials to avoid suspicion.
Agents said that while executing the search warrant on Rex-Gene Maralit’s residence where he lives with his wife and children, they came across a variety of weapons in the open.
Since the trio didn’t have official government permits to sell arms overseas, they were charged both conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act and for engaging in illegal weapon trade.
James T. Hayes Jr., the special agent-in-charge for Homeland Security in New York, commented on the charges: “The defendants are alleged to have illegally exported some of the world’s most powerful firearms with complete disregard as to who the end user would be.”
Federal law enforcement mentioned that the Barrett M82A1 .50 caliber semiautomatic rifle, one of the weapons being sold, had the power to shatter brick walls, shred body armor, and strike aircraft at even far distances.
While the U.S government is working in tandem with law enforcement in the Philippines to bring Arial Maralit in, Rex-Gene was brought into the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse at 11 A.M today. The eldest brother, Wilfredo, is set to appear at the Federal Court in Santa Ana, California at 2 P.M.
Prosecutors requested that Rex-Gene Maralit be held as he is a naturalized citizen and could’ve fled to the Philippines.
The brothers are looking at a maximum of five years and a $250,000 fine each.