Three Arrested For International Gun Trafficking And Obstruction Of Justice

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FILE PHOTO: American flag waves outside the U.S. Department of Justice Building in Washington

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Ivan J. Arvelo, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), and Keechant L. Sewell, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced today the arrests of ELVIS GUERRERO, a/k/a “E,” JEMYNI TRUE, a/k/a “Jemy,” and TRENTON MICHAEL JUDKINS, for trafficking firearms from New York City to the Dominican Republic.  As alleged in the Complaint filed last Friday, the defendants obtained firearms from straw purchasers and then shipped six handguns and an AR-15 style rifle from New York City to the Dominican Republic inside a cargo shipping container.  TRUE and JUDKINS also conspired to delete evidence regarding their scheme after JUDKINS was contacted by law enforcement.  GUERRERO and TRUE were arrested after flying into JFK Airport from the Dominican Republic last Thursday and were presented before Magistrate Judge Barbara C. Moses in Manhattan federal court.  GUERRERO was ordered detained and TRUE was detained pending release on conditions.  JUDKINS was arrested last Friday in Maine.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “International gun traffickers endanger our community by putting dangerous weapons in the hands of those who often use them for violence.  As demonstrated by these arrests, our Office will continue to investigate and prosecute gun traffickers who seek to profit from the illegal gun trade, which endangers the lives of law-abiding citizens everywhere.”

NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said: “Illegal guns pose a grave public-safety threat to every community, here in New York City and across the globe.  With these charges, the NYPD and our law-enforcement partners are sending a clear and definitive message: If you traffic in these deadly weapons, you will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  I want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, HSI’s New York Field Office, and all of the investigators who worked on this important case.”

According to the allegations in the Complaint filed in Manhattan federal court:[1]

TRUE and GUERRERO obtained firearms from multiple straw purchasers located in the United States, including JUDKINS.  GUERRERO and JUDKINS discussed that GUERRERO would pay JUDKINS for a firearm with narcotics. 

On or about October 6, 2022, a shipping container that had been transported by cargo ship from New York City to the Dominican Republic was inspected in the Dominican Republic.  Inside a box that was reported to contain food and other items, inspectors found six handguns and an AR-15 style rifle.  A photograph of the firearms is below:

 

Law enforcement in the Dominican Republic searched a location where the firearms were intended to be received and found a paper containing a phone number associated with TRUE. 

On November 3, 2022, law enforcement agents approached JUDKINS, who admitted to selling the AR-15 style rifle recovered in the Dominican Republic to GUERRERO and that TRUE had recently asked him to provide a second firearm.  After speaking with law enforcement agents, JUDKINS communicated with TRUE, advising her that he had spoken with federal law enforcement agents and to “be careful.”  In response, TRUE asked him to “delete all our chats on Facebook and here please / And text / And your s*** w [GUERRERO].”  JUDKINS agreed to do so. 

On November 3, 2022, law enforcement agents seized cellphones possessed by GUERRERO and TRUE after they flew into JFK Airport from the Dominican Republic.  Substantially all of the data on TRUE’s cellphone had been deleted. 

On GUERRERO’s phones, law enforcement found multiple photographs of firearms, including the following photograph of GUERRERO posing with a rifle:

 

Law enforcement agents also found communications between GUERRERO and TRUE regarding firearms and notes GUERRERO kept regarding quantities of narcotics. 

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GUERRERO, 21, of Lowell, Massachusetts; TRUE, 20, of Corinth, Maine; and JUDKINS, 18, of Garland, Maine, are each charged with one count of conspiring to commit an offense against the United States, namely, gun trafficking, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and one count of gun trafficking, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.  TRUE and JUDKINS are additionally charged with one count of obstruction of justice, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. 

The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentence will be determined by a judge.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of HSI and the NYPD. 

This case is being handled by the Office’s Violent & Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jun Xiang is in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 


[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint constitutes only allegations, and every fact described herein should be treated as an allegation.