Georgia: Tyrone Ortiz Charged With Possession of Firearms

Georgia Man, Tyrone Ortiz Charged With Possession of Firearms with Obliterated Serial Numbers That Were Mailed To St. Thomas

(STL.News) U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced that Tyrone Ortiz, 37, of Rex, GA, appeared before Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller yesterday for an advice of rights hearing following his arrest for possession of three firearms with obliterated serial numbers.

According to Court records, on March 10, 2022, Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) officers in San Juan, PR seized a package that contained three (3) handguns with obliterated serial numbers.  The handguns were concealed inside large surge protectors, and the package was addressed to a post office box on St. Thomas, from a sender located in Locust Grove, Georgia.

Postal records revealed that both the names and addresses on the package were not associated with the actual addresses, and that the addresses were invalid.  Court records further revealed that the telephone number listed on the shipping label of the package was the phone number for the defendant Ortiz.

On March 11, 2022, HSI in San Juan, PR, transferred the USPS package to St. Thomas, and on March 15, 2022, agents removed the firearms and placed sham firearms in the package.  Ortiz later collected the package from the post office, and agents tracked the package to Ortiz’s family home in the Estate Tutu area.  The defendant was taken into custody and, according to court records, admitted that he was responsible for both shipping and receiving the USPS package.  Ortiz also allegedly admitted that he was aware that the USPS package contained firearms.

United States Attorney Shappert reminds the public that a complaint is merely a formal charging document and is not evidence of guilt.  Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, St. Thomas Resident Office and the United States Postal Inspection Services and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Everard Potter.