A Sacramento man was arraigned in federal court Wednesday, charged with purchasing multiple firearms in Reno and illegally bringing them across state lines.
Dejon Andrade, 27, who was arrested late Tuesday, drove to Reno and bought nine guns between November and January, according to an affidavit by Sara M. Lewis, a special agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Andrade couldn't legally buy the guns in California as a condition of his probation for a misdemeanor conviction, authorities said. That misdemeanor likely would have shown up in a state background check in California, but not in a federal background check in Nevada.
One of the guns purchased by Andrade in Reno was found less than a month later on a known gang member who tossed it while fleeing police, according to the affidavit.
"Firearms traffickers enable those who are committing violent crimes in our community," said Graham Barlowe, resident agent in charge of the ATF's Sacramento office, just after Andrade was arraigned in federal court.
Andrade, whose nickname is "Capo," also faces state charges of marijuana possession with intent to sell, court records show.
According to the affidavit, Andrade used a fraudulent Nevada identification card to buy guns from the Bizarre Guitar store. Most of the guns were semi-automatic pistols.
During one purchase, the affidavit says, a Bizarre Guitar employee noticed that Andrade was driving a car with California plates. It's illegal for people to purchase a gun outside their state of residence unless they have it shipped to a licensed dealer in their home state.
ATF agents started an investigation and tracked Andrade to Griggs Way in the Pocket area of Sacramento. They searched the home and found a weapon, and Andrade admitted he bought the guns illegally in Nevada, the affidavit says. Andrade told police that he bought the guns for personal use but purchased too many, so he decided to sell the surplus. He said he used to live in Las Vegas but now lives in Sacramento.
Authorities also found text messages and pictures on Andrade's phone that they say suggest he was selling some weapons that are illegal for purchase in California, including automatic weapons.
One text message from a contact listed as "Gotti" asked Andrade, "Wats good wat u got?" Andrade replied, "Mac 10 fully for 1500," according to authorities.
A MAC-10 is a compact machine pistol capable of firing about 1,000 rounds a minute.
Related to the charges, on Feb. 11, Elk Grove police recovered a Ruger .40-caliber pistol during a car chase involving a gang member identified in court documents as "G.P."
G.P. pulled his car over during the chase and ran from cops while tossing the gun to the ground, authorities said. The gun was allegedly purchased by Andrade on Jan. 15.
Andrade is charged with interstate travel with intent to unlawfully deal in firearms, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.
The Sacramento Police Department and Sacramento County Sheriff's Department assisted in the investigation, Barlowe said.
Call The Bee's Phillip Reese, (916) 321-1137.