Columbus man indicted for illegally selling firearms, including guns used in drug trafficking, as well as laundering drug profits
A Columbus man was indicted for illegally selling firearms, including guns used in drug trafficking, as well as laundering drug profits.
Francisco Flores, 39, was indicted on one count of transfer of firearms for use in drug trafficking, three counts of sale of firearms to a felon, four counts of money laundering and one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.
Flores sold three firearms on Jan. 10 – a Smith & Wesson 5.56 mm semiautomatic assault rifle, a Glock 9 mm pistol and Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver – knowing the firearms would be used for drug trafficking, according to the indictment.
Flores on June 1 sold a Pietro Beretta 9 mm pistol and a Glock 9 mm pistol to a convicted felon, according to the indictment.
Flores on Aug. 31 sold two Glock 9 mm pistols to a convicted felon, according to the indictment.
Flores on Nov. 1 sold a Diamondback Firearms 5.56 mm semiautomatic assault rifle, a Smith & Wesson .40-caliber pistol and ammunition to a convicted felon, according to the indictment.
On several occasions between August 2017 and January 2018, Flores made financial transactions to disguise proceeds that he believed were derived from drug trafficking. He also used his business, Flores Flooring, to engage in the unlicensed transmitting of money, according to the indictment.
Flores was arrested Wednesday morning.
“This is a man who put heavy firepower on the streets for drug dealers, and also helped them launder their drug money,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “Ohio is a safer place with him behind bars.”
“Francisco Flores may be known to some in the community as a business owner but to law enforcement he is known as someone engaged in dangerous unlawful activities,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony. “These actions will not be tolerated in our community. The FBI’s Northern Ohio Law Enforcement Task Force will continue to disrupt individuals that are a threat to our everyday lives.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations and Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew J. Cronin and Elliot Morrison are prosecuting the case.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violations. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
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