Suspect in Burglary at Poway Weapons & Gear Charged with Federal Firearms Offenses

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Assistant U. S. Attorneys Joseph Orabona (619) 546-7951 or Elizabet Brown (619) 546-8921

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – March 1, 2022

SAN DIEGO – Jaime Angel Zamora was arraigned today in federal court on charges involving theft of firearms from the premises of Poway Weapons & Gear, a federal firearms licensee, and felon in possession of firearms.

According to a federal complaint unsealed today, in the early morning hours of November 21, 2021, Zamora and another suspect burglarized Poway Weapons & Gear in Poway by prying open the side door of the business and stealing approximately 12 firearms from the premises.

“The United States Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners in the Southern District of California are committed to enforcing federal firearms laws,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. Grossman thanked the prosecution team, the ATF, San Diego Police Department, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and San Diego County Probation Department for their excellent work on this case.

“ATF remains committed to reducing gun crime and to making our communities safer,” said Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Los Angeles Field Division Special Agent in Charge Monique Villegas. “ATF works with its local, state and federal partners to stop the flow of guns being used in crimes, by targeting these individuals to prevent, interrupt, and reduce violence. Successful arrests and prosecutions are the result of effective partnerships.”

“This case is a fine example of deputies in the field and the Sheriff’s Crime Laboratory working together,” said Acting San Diego County Sheriff Kelly Martinez. “We join our federal law enforcement partners in their commitment to bring those who commit gun crimes to justice.”

According to the complaint, Zamora and the other suspect attempted to make entry into the business through a window, but the metal bars prevented their entry. Surveillance video showed the suspects gaining access to the gunsmith office and carrying out multiple firearms from the business. During the commission of the burglary, surveillance video showed Zamora (“Suspect #1”) wearing gloves, a dark hoodie, a light hat underneath the hoodie, a light face mask, light khaki pants, and white shoes, according to court records. The other suspect (“Suspect #2”) was wearing gloves, a dark hoodie, a light hat, a dark face mask, light khaki pants, and black shoes.  Both suspects were carrying a pry tool in hand as they approached the store.

According to the complaint, the suspects used a stolen white Ford Econoline van during the commission of the burglary. Surveillance video showed that the van had several unique features – front end damage, no front plate, and a roof rack. Law enforcement officials later recovered the van, which had been abandoned after the burglary in San Diego.  Inside the van, officers found a Poway Weapons & Gear bag, a black flashlight, a blue bandana, and a brown beanie.

According to the complaint, the Sheriff’s lab conducted a DNA analysis and found that the brown beanie recovered from the stolen van had a very strong inclusive DNA profile for Zamora.

According to court records, Zamora and the other suspect allegedly stole five semi-automatic pistols and seven semi-automatic rifles from Poway Weapons & Gear.

According to the complaint, in December 2021, law enforcement officers searched Zamora’s residence and found items consistent with the burglary at the Poway Weapons & Gear, such as blue and white bandanas, white shoes, black and gray gloves, a dark ski mask, and a blue jacket. While officers did not recover any of the firearms from the burglary, they did find two firearms in a vehicle where Zamora was an occupant, including a privately-made-firearm, also known as a “ghost gun.”  Zamora was subsequently arrested and held in state custody on criminal charges.

On February 17, 2022, a sealed complaint and an arrest warrant were filed against Zamora in federal court. Zamora was arrested today on the federal charges, transferred from state custody to federal custody, and appeared in federal court this afternoon. He was ordered detained without bond at today’s hearing.

This case is part of the Department of Justice’s nationwide commitment to reduce gun crimes known as Project Safe Neighborhoods, or PSN. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders works together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develops comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

DEFENDANT                                               Case Number 22MJ0603                                         

Jaime Angel Zamora                          Age: 34                       San Diego, CA

SUMMARY OF CHARGES

Theft of Firearms from the Premises of a Federal Firearms Licensee – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 922(u)

Maximum penalty: Ten years in prison, $250,000 fine, and forfeiture of all firearms/ammunition

Felon in Possession of a Firearm – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 922(g)(1)

Maximum penalty: Ten years in prison, $250,000 fine, and forfeiture of all firearms/ammunition

AGENCIES

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department

San Diego Police Department

San Diego County Probation Department

*The charges and allegations contained in a complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in American communities by networking with existing local programs that target these issues and provide these programs with additional tools necessary to be successful. PSN has operated as the U.S. Department of Justice’s primary initiative focused on reduction of gun crime since May of 2001. PSN is a collaborative effort between federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutors.