Two Gardena, California, police officers were convicted Wednesday on a multitude of charges after running an illegal online gun business, KTLA reports.
Carlos Miguel Fernandez, 44, and Edward Yashushiro Arao, 49, used their titles as officers to gain possession and then sell dozens of guns that are usually not available to the public.
Fernandez and Arao were both convicted of conspiracy to engage in the business of dealing of firearms without a license, and multiple counts of engaging in an unlicensed firearms business. Fernandez was also charged with three additional counts: conspiracy, selling firearms to a convicted felon, and making false statements about gun sales on federal licensing paperwork.
“The evidence presented at trial demonstrated how the defendants exploited their position as police officers to ensure the success of their illegal gun selling business,” US Department of Justice spokesperson Ciaran McEvoy said in a statement.
Both Fernandez and Arao were 17-year veterans at the Gardena Police Department when they were arrested and placed on leave last March as their scheme fell apart.
Both officers are scheduled to be sentenced on March 2. Fernandez faces up to 35 years in prison, while Arao faces up to 10 years in prison.