LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Customs and Border Protection officer at Los Angeles International Airport has been arrested on suspicion of illegally exporting weapons from the United States to the Philippines.
Wilfredo Maralit, 48, of Garden Grove, and his brother, NYPD officer Rex Maralit, are charged with conspiring to violate the Arms Export Control Act and engage in unlicensed firearms dealing, according to the U.S. District Attorney.
A third brother, Ariel Maralit, has also been named in a federal complaint. He currently resides in the Philippines.
“Between January 2009 and March 2013, the defendants engaged in a scheme to smuggle high-powered assault rifles, sniper rifles, pistols and firearm accessories from the United States to the Philippines, where they were sold to overseas customers,” according to the District Attorney.
“As alleged, rather than upholding and enforcing the law as they had sworn to do, these defendants made international gunrunning a family business. The brothers used their knowledge of the law to circumvent it, and sent dangerous weapons overseas without regard for the ultimate destination or targets,” U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement. “Criminal conduct by police officers, federal agents, and their confederates cannot be tolerated and will be met with the full force of the law.”
Wilfredo Maralit is due in a Santa Ana courtroom Friday afternoon.