Dominican in New York accused of gun-dealing wants confession tossed
A New York man who allegedly bought 15 guns in Pennsylvania and shipped them to the Dominican Republic said he was ill the day he was arrested and wants a judge to dismiss his confession.

But federal prosecutors say Victor Peralta readily agreed to confess to his purchases after he was read his rights.

Prosecutors also say that photos Peralta took on his cell phone, released with other court documents on Friday, show the guns and Peralta showing off thousands of dollars in cash.

Some of the gun purchases, including handguns and AK-47s, were in Allentown, Tamaqua and Quakertown, prosecutors said.

Peralta was charged May 5 after federal agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were informed he was trying to buy seven guns at a gun shop in Elizabethtown, Lancaster County. An alert employee at The Trop Gun shop noticed the Lancaster address Peralta had on his identification and recognized it as the same address used by others to make straw gun purchases.

The location is actually a vacant building, prosecutors said.

Peralta was told to return to pick up his guns, and when he did he was arrested.

According to a signed confession included in the court documents released Friday, Peralta said he bought 15 guns in eastern Pennsylvania. Some, like the assault rifles, he sent in packaging while others were disassembled and placed in powdered drink containers before he shipped them from New York to someone he knew only as "Yunior" in the Dominican Republic.

Peralta also said he obtained his Pennsylvania identification from a Dominican Republic government official.

Once he received word that the guns had arrived, Peralta said, he flew to the Dominican Republic to meet with Yunior, who paid him $1,300 for each handgun and $2,600 for each assault rifle he successfully smuggled.

Prosecutors said Peralta signed a waiver that allowed them to search his car, where they found his cell phone, which contained what prosecutors said were "incriminating photos."

Some of the pictures Peralta took of himself holding his money, mostly $100 bills. And many of the guns in the photos were the guns he had purchased before sending abroad, prosecutors said.

Peralta, who was charged with dealing with firearms without a license, interstate travel to engage in the dealing of firearms without a license, and making false statements, is being held at the Lehigh County Prison pending his trial, which is scheduled for January.


Go back | Date: 04 Sep 2010
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