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Ex-San Diego sheriff’s captain pleads guilty to gun sales

September 17, 2020 GMT

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A former San Diego County sheriff’s captain has pleaded guilty to selling “off roster” guns available only to law enforcement, according to a newspaper report.

As part of a plea agreement, Marco Garmo admitted to one count of engaging in the business of dealing firearms without a federal license, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday. He faces a maximum of five years in prison when sentenced.

The criminal conviction focused on the gun-trafficking charge. But the plea agreement also details other abuses of power, including lying to investigators and tipping off a family-connected illegal marijuana dispensary of an impending raid, the Times said.


“This case involved stunning and sustained violations of the public trust by a high-ranking law enforcement officer who bent his public position to his private gain,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Linda Frakes said in a statement.

According to the indictment, Garmo oversaw a scheme that took advantage of a provision in state gun laws that allows law enforcement to occasionally resell certain firearms not available to the general public.

The scheme involved Garmo making straw purchases of handguns, rifles and high-capacity magazines that civilians were not allowed to purchase, then transferring or pretending to loan many of them to friends or acquaintances, prosecutors said.